A regional publisher is today launching an online version of the local TV station it plans to launch later this year.
Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening news publisher Archant was announced as the successful bidder last autumn for the new local TV licence in Norwich.
Today Mustard TV is to go live as an online channel ahead of its launch on digital TV in the autumn.
The publisher aims for the channel to provide five times as much airtime to Norwich news than the existing coverage by BBC and ITV regional news programmes.
Its launch is part of the government’s plans for a nationwide network of local TV stations, some owned by regional newspaper publishers.
Earlier this week Ofcom announced the next 28 areas where licences will be issued.
Mustard TV aims to provide access to the latest news, weather and traffic information, along with entertainment shows and documentaries and its flagship magazine programme will be called The Mustard Show.
The channel, named Mustard in honour of Norwich’s long association with Colman’s mustard, is expected to be broadcast on Freeview channel 8 from October and will be on air from 6am to midnight, seven days a week.
Mustard managing director Fiona Ryder, said: “Mustard Online will feature local news, weather and sports clips – along with entertainment shorts and property mini-features. Full length programmes will be produced later in the year.
“Over the next few months, Mustard Online will add new channels and content features as it approaches the on-air date for digital terrestrial TV.
“Our vision is for Mustard to be seen as a community asset: a local broadcast service that reflects life and champions community concerns and gives viewers a new voice. Mustard Online is the first step in that journey.
“Our partnership with academic institutions, local businesses and production companies will ensure that Mustard is an authentic local service made by and for the people of Norwich.”
Mustard Chairman and Archant Anglia MD, Johnny Hustler, said: “Mustard Online is the next stage in extending the valuable service we have been providing to the people of Norwich and Norfolk for the past 160 years through our printed and digital publications such as the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News.
“It will give people a taste of what they can expect from Mustard TV later this year.”
Mustard news videos will be embedded within relevant pages of the EDP and Evening News websites as well as appearing at www.mustardtv.co.uk
More than 30 Archant Anglia journalists are now trained in news presenting and iPhone video to work alongside experienced videographers to produce news feature packages for the online TV channel.
Archant Anglia publishing director, Bob Crawley, said: “Seeing our journalists rise to the challenge of telling stories through video, as well as the written word, has been very exciting. Already more than 30 of our team have been through a TV news presenting training course and the results have been first class, with some great video shot in Norwich and Norfolk.
“There has been a great deal of enthusiasm from the EDP and Evening News teams and I am looking forward to seeing Mustard TV online becoming an important part of local people’s news and entertainment viewing habit.”