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Press agency boss snubbed in bid for local TV licence

A company which has already successfully bid for three local Tv licences has been snubbed in its bid for a fourth.

Bay TV has already run the right to broadcast the new Channel 8 local services in Liverpool, Swansea and Mold, North Wales.

It was also the only bidder for the licence to run local TV services in Bangor, North Wales – but media watchdog Ofcom has decided not to award it the licence citing concerns its business model.

Bay TV is run by Chris Johnson, managing director of Liverpool-based press agency Mercury Press.

Announcing its decision, Ofcom said that its Broadcast Licensing Committee had decided that Bay TV Gwynedd “would not be able to maintain the proposed service over the licence period with the funding model it proposed.”

It said the company’s business model relied heavily on advertising revenue and assumed a cost-base of paid employees needed to deliver the programming.

A report by the committee said:  “In reviewing the application, the BLC noted the inherent challenges of the Bangor area, which has a coverage of only 16,000 households.

“The BLC was concerned that the assumptions made by the application in terms of the advertising revenue per household would be unlikely to be achievable. No alternative, sustainable funding stream was offered to make up a potential shortfall.

“The BLC considered potential cost savings identified by the applicant but noted these were small in comparison to the total cost base and the revenue assumptions made by the applicant.

“In the BLC’s view, the applicant would not be able to maintain the proposed service over the licence period and therefore decided not to award the licence for Bangor.”