Birmingham & Black Country

Kaleidoscope given Birmingham local TV licence

City TV promotional advert
Image caption Birmingham's City TV went into administration

The licence for local TV in Birmingham has been given to another group after City TV went into administration without broadcasting any programmes.

Regulator Ofcom said it had agreed to transfer the licence to Kaleidoscope TV Limited, which has until 28 February to get on air.

The group's commitments include 41 hours of new local programmes a week.

Kaleidoscope said it gave "extensive" plans to Ofcom, which seemed "entirely satisfied".

'Very successful'

It emerged in August that City TV, also known as BLTV, had gone into administration, three months before its deadline to start broadcasting.

Ofcom said it had now agreed to transfer the licence to Kaleidoscope, after turning down a previous request to do that from BLTV administrator Duff & Phelps.

The regulator said it "took account of the likely timetable" had the licence been re-advertised.

Kaleidoscope's commitments include a half-hour programme of news at 18:00 and 22:00 and 23 hours a week of new local programmes in peak time - between 18:00 and 22:30.

Asked about quality, and content from the community, Kaleidoscope director Chris Perry said: "I don't have any concerns about it.

'Specific assurances'

"I think local TV (has been) very successful in Norwich, Glasgow and Nottingham.

"Part of local TV involves community involvement, but (that) doesn't mean it's a bad thing."

Asked about the deadline to get on air, Mr Perry said: "Ofcom thought it's feasible which means we presented good, credible plans."

Mr Perry said he owned half of the company, with the other half owned by former ATV presenter and ex-City TV programme controller Mike Prince.

Ofcom said it noted "the specific assurances that had been given relating to live news coverage".

The first licences for local channels were awarded in 2012. As part of the current licence fee settlement, the BBC agreed to contribute up to £25m for successful bidders to build the network.

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