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Broadcaster awarded licence for ninth local TV channel

That's TV

A local TV company which has already been awarded eight broadcast licences across England has been handed a further one.

Media regulator Ofcom has awarded the licence for Carlisle to That’s TV, which has already won licences for places including Manchester, Southampton and Oxford.

The launch of the new TV station is set to see a content-sharing agreement reached with the CN Group, publishers of titles including the News & Star and the Cumberland News.

Potential agreements were reached by That’s TV with the newspaper publisher before it applied for the Carlisle licence and now the details of this are expected to be finalised.

The licence application stated: “We will particiate in a news-share arrangement with CN, allowing us access to the real news in Carlisle each evening.”

Further partnerships by the TV station aim to see it working with Carlisle College and the University of Cumbria so budding journalists can be involved in programmes.

The CN Group’s In Cumbria magazine reports that That’s Carlisle is a consortium of three groups, made up of That’s TV as a majority stakeholder, along with Cumbria TV and Carvetii Media.

Lloyd Watson from Carvetii Media told the magazine that the new channel should be on air within 12-18 months and will initially broadcast for a few hours every day.

He said: “We need to have a meeting of the new board, and work out how we will work together with our key partners.

“The station will cover news, current affairs, and be more like a newspaper like The Cumberland News but on the telly.

“It’s important we don’t overstretch ourselves initially, that’s where other operators have gone wrong.”

That’s Carlisle will set up a base in the city and will recruit staff for the new channel.

In announcing its licence decision, Ofcom said its Broadcast Licensing Committee “considered that the proposed service was modest in its programming proposals, but that it would broaden the range of programmes available in the area as well as increase the number and range of programmes made in or about the area.

“The BLC further noted the partnerships with the University of Cumbria, Carlisle College and Cumbrian Newspapers that should help to strengthen the output of the service.”

It added that the advertising revenue forecasts were “quite ambitious” but it was satisfied that the applicant would be able to deliver its programming commitments if the forecasts were not obtained.

Ofcom has now awarded 34 local TV licences across the UK and 18 of these are on air on Freeview channel 8, including in Norwich, London, Sheffield, Cardiff and Nottingham.

The licences already awarded to That’s TV are for services in Basingstoke, Guildford, Manchester, Oxford, Preston, Reading, Salisbury and Southampton.