London gets first dedicated digital terrestrial TV channel as ESTV launches London Live

Free-to-air channel will provide high quality coverage for every area of the city

London
is to have a dedicated free-to-air television channel for the first time, the
broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has announced.

The new London Live channel will broadcast to around 4 million homes and be run by Evening Standard Television (ESTV), a company wholly-owned by Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the London Evening Standard , The Independent and i newspapers.

ESTV beat competition from four rival bids to host the new service, which will enjoy a prominent position at channel 8 on the Freeview electronic programme guide. It will also be shown at channel 117 on Sky and on Virgin, IPTV and other platforms.  London Live will utilise the editorial resources of both the Evening Standard and The Independent.

Announcing its decision this morning, Ofcom said: “ESTV demonstrated the greatest understanding of London’s diverse communities by putting forward proposals which would allow representation of those communities whilst not excluding others as a result.”

The broadcast regulator was impressed with plans in the ESTV bid for “hyper local” coverage of individual districts of the capital on the web-based part of the London Live service. “ESTV’s proposals…provided important opportunities for close local community involvement, taking into account, in particular, its proposals for [Internet TV] services in each London borough which would be included in its programming commitments.”

The venture represented “an exciting opportunity”, said Mr Lebedev.

“Our excellent team of journalists in the capital have the best contacts, knowledge and understanding of the London scene,” he said. “Through the Evening Standard and Independent, we have proved time and again that we can deliver fast, accurate, high quality breaking news, features and analysis and we are looking forward to applying these skills to London Live.”

Commercial media were enthusiastic about the new outlet. “This is the biggest single licence awarded since Channel 5 - there’s no doubt that, out of the regional TV licences, the London licence is the most valuable,” said Adrian Drury, lead analyst at Ovum.

He said the service had great potential for integrating commentary from social media into hyper local news coverage. “There are aspects of the service that show really interesting vision about how they see local television today,” he said. “Part of that is their plan to have hyper local video features for each of the London boroughs on the web-delivered part of the service. They’re going heavily after live telecasting with social content integrated – so you will see not just what the news desk says but also what the Twittersphere and Facebook think.”

Jess Evans, associate director at Carat, said she expected the service to be popular with advertisers. “Clients want multi-format solutions - we can’t think about siloes in media anymore. The same consumer will be watching TV, taking something online and reading in print. This gives us an extra way to access them and integrating social media embodies that.”

In May 2012, Ofcom invited applications to run local TV services in 21 local areas. The regulator received 57 applications to run the services, including five applications for the London licence.

As well as broadcasting on digital terrestrial television (DTT), it is anticipated that local TV channels might offer their services on satellite, cable and online.

Ofcom has now awarded 15 local TV licences, as well as the multiplex licence, and will make further licence awards in the coming months. Other new local television channels, which could begin broadcasting later this year, include Made in Cardiff, Mustard (Norwich), That’s Oxford and Notts TV.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Account Executive / Account Manager

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Social Media Account Writers

£12000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This social media management pr...

Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor (Magazine Publishing) - Wimbledon - £23-26K

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor - Wimbledon...

Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publishing) - Wimbledon - £26-30K

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publish...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent