Only a fifth of the UK’s local television network is up and running two years after the first licences were awarded, the broadcasting watchdog has admitted.
Six local TV channels have made it to the airwaves so far, having broadcast some 6,400 hours of local programmes to a potential audience of six million across Britain.
A further 10 are preparing to launch by next February which will leave almost half of the original 30 licence holders yet to deliver a start date, licence overlord Ofcom reports in its progress update.
Grimsby won the race to launch a local TV station on digital terrestrial television last November followed by Norwich and London in March, Nottingham in May, Glasgow in June and Brighton and Hove last month.
There have been early teething troubles with London slashing its viewing hours while City TV went into administration – forcing the need to transfer the Birmingham licence to a suitable new bidder.
Ofcom admits: “The nature of awarding licences for a new type of service in a competitive media market means that it is very unlikely that all channels will succeed.
“This is an inherent feature of the nature of awarding a large number of licences for a new service across very different parts of the UK.”
A second phase of licensing is already under way and there is continued interest from potential applicants in launching channels, according to Ofcom.