Completely different markets with different history but Texas is split into over 20 TV markets with multiple local channels in many markets. The trouble is the theory never thought about the practicalities and the funding and regulation wasn't there to ensure they served their purpose.
The licence fee money siphoned off for these would have been better spent to create a fund for non-news regional content that the BBC and ITV could have access too. Think the viewer and the industry would have benefitted more from just one 6x30min series per region per year than numerous so called 24/7 local stations.
The whole ‘Local TV’ thing originally proposed by Jeremy Hunt was to have a National network with local opt-outs which was a far better idea. It was an answer to ITV’s 2008 cuts to Regional News which have now been partly reversed. ITV had previously made it clear they didn’t want any Licence Fee funding or someone producing content using LF monies on their channel. Talking of non-News content ITV were to produce a weekly Regional Political show as part of their 2008 proposal called ‘Here And Now’ which never happened...
The blame lies with Ofcom’s watering down of the Local TV idea and their over the top reduction of ITV’s Regional obligations. A reduction to the original 11 English Regions (London, Meridian, Westcountry, West, Central West, Central East (two bulletins for Central as the only true Dual Region), Anglia, Granada, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees & last of all Border*) would have worked better in my opinion. Oh and ‘Here And Now’ (or weekly editions of Central Lobby etc) should have been mandatory. As for the BBC they surely have enough money off the people to produce some Regional content?
* Or Border Scotland moves to STV with Border England merging with Tyne Tees (as they did anyway).
Last edited by Rijowhi on 23 January 2021 11:11am
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