The launches of London Live, Mustard TV in Norwich and Estuary TV in North Lincolnshire has raised much speculation about the potential of Local TV, and with 47 more channels to come this debate looks set to continue throughout 2014. New research reveals that three quarters of British TV viewers (75%) don’t know that a local channel could be launching near them this year, with a further 15% claiming to have heard of ‘local TV’ but don’t know where these channels are due to launch.
The research from global broadcast solutions provider BroadStream Solutions, who polled a representative sample of the UK population in conjunction with YouGov, also found that when asked whether they would watch a local TV service, half of Brits (50%) said they would be interested in watching programming relevant to their city or town. The West Midlands lead the way with 63% of participants saying they would be very or fairly likely to watch a Local TV channel, followed by the North East (58%), with Londoners being the least interested, with just 44%. However, the West Midlands and North East only have 1 Local TV channel planned each (City 8 Birmingham and Made in Tyne and Wear).
Brits are most interested in watching local news programmes on their local channel, with 70% of respondents interested in this content. This was followed by over half of viewers (52%) also interested in watching documentaries about their local areas and almost a third (30%) watching their local sports team.
According to the figures, the biggest focus for these new TV channels should be generating relevant interesting content, with 64% of people saying that uninteresting programmes is the most likely thing to put them off watching their local TV service. Other viewer turn-offs that broadcasters should take note of are poor production quality (62%) and too many adverts (56%) being shown during programmes.
Mark Errington, CEO, BroadStream Solutions comments: “There are certainly challenges ahead for the new breed of local TV channels launching this year, from creating the right content to finding the right way to generate income. One approach was highlighted by the launch of London Live earlier this year, by working in conjunction with their other media companies, such as newspapers. This enables the fledgling channel access to journalists and editorial resources from the newspaper to support news and current affairs programming, not to mention the opportunity to tap into existing communities through cross-platform advertising and promotions. Local TV is in the midst of a 5 year programme to see if it can succeed where regional TV failed, but the key to success will be ensuring they strike the right balance between revenues and views.”