Comux awarded UK local TV multiplex

On LocationOfcom has awarded the licence to operate the UK’s new local TV licence to Comux, the co-operative venture-backed by Canis Media.

Comux will be responsible for building and maintaining the technical infrastructure required to broadcast the 19 local TV services currently being licensed by Ofcom.

Under the 12-year licence, Comux will be required to set-up infrastructure to allow some local TV channels to take to the air before the end of 2013.

“I’m delighted that we will be playing such an important role in what is one of the most exciting changes to the UK’s TV landscape for many years,” said Comux UK founder, Canis Media’s Chief Executive Ed Hall. “I believe that we won because our innovative cooperative structure maximises the chance of success for each and every local TV franchise holder. I’m now looking forward to building the infrastructure and particularly excited to see the first local TV services on-air. This really is a step-change; previously local TV has been limited to a handful of cities but soon there will be up to 60 towns and cities with their own local channel. This revolutionizes how the UK’s local communities are served by TV,” concluded Hall.

Comux is proposing an ownership structure that means it will be owned equally by the holders of the local TV licences.

Canis Media is well-known from its television consultancy business, particularly the brokering of EPG slots on the Sky platform. It will manage the operation for an initial three years. Comux UK’s technical headquarters and The Local TV Charitable Trust will be based at Birmingham Science Park, Aston.

In addition to the 19 local TV locations where the licensing process is either complete or underway, Comux has proposed a further 28 locations for coverage, and Ofcom will be licensing these areas later this year.

The 19 initial locations Comex is required to cover are: Belfast Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Preston, Sheffield and Southampton.

The additional 28 areas are Aberdeen, Ayr, Bangor, Barnstaple, Basingstoke, Bedford, Bromsgrove, Cambridge, Carlisle, Derry/Londonderry, Dundee, Guildford, Hereford, Inverness, Kidderminster, Limavady, Luton, Maidstone, Malvern, Middlesbrough, Mold, Reading, Salisbury, Scarborough, Stoke on Trent, Stratford-upon-Avon and Tonbridge.