Saturday, 7 January 2012
I have taken a close interest in the possibility of local television for Dundee, Tayside and North Fife and it was therefore good to see the positive news for Dundee following the recent announcement of areas to be licensed for local TV services.
News on national TV and in the national press on the day of the announcement concentrated on only Edinburgh and Glasgow. There was a general failure to report that there are, in fact, two lists of locations and the second of these lists includes the location identified as Dundee. This is served by the Angus transmitter which also serves, Angus, north Fife and southern Perth and Kinross.
So, from a position some years ago where Scotland was not ‘on the radar’ for local TV, extensive lobbying, including that by the Fife TayConsortium, has led to the current proposals for local TV services, not just in Edinburgh and Glasgow but also in four further areas including Dundee/Fife/Tayside. Anyone wishing to operate a licence for locations on the second must do so with a local operator. This means potential local TV services for the region as whole, particularly, as proposed by the Fife Tay Consortium, through a combined broadcast and internet services.
The Fife Tay Local TV Consortium is a collaboration between regional organisations in Fife and Tayside including Radio Tay, Dundee College, the University of Dundee and Perthshireonline.tv. It is chaired by leading lawyer, Professor Stewart Brymer and the business plan is being developed by Martin Cherry of Bannerman Technology.
It is coordinated by FifeScreen and TayScreen the screen office for the councils of Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross. There is already some pilot work that can be seen at FifeTay.Tv - and further pilot development is planned for early 2012.
The current Ofcom consultation can be seen at the following link and the deadline is 19th March 2012. It is an opportunity to provide input on the areas currently selected and the proposed process. You can read more at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/local-tv/.
I am writing to Ofcom in support of local TV services for Dundee in particular, and the Fife Tayside area in general. Given the current stage of the local TV licensing consultation, there is a major opportunity to influence the process going forward and it is essential to build on what has been achieved so far. I would encourage all with an interest to write to Ofcom highlighting their support for local TV for Dundee.