Speaking at a press event in London, the company’s chief executive Ed Hall said that the £25 million (€28.9 million) BBC grant the company had secured two weeks ago would remove financial barriers to entry for local broadcasters; make operating local TV stations low cost attracting a wide range of local broadcasters; and promote local TV to ensure that viewers are aware of it.
He added that the multiplex operator has to be a broader service provider than a traditional operator.
Comux has three core objectives. The first is to build a central infrastructure and manage three national SD video streams (or one SD and one HD). The second is to ensure that local TV is delivered at a competitive price and the third to create public awareness.
The current state of play is that besides the BBC funding being secured supplier contracts have been signed with TSL and Warwicknet; fixed, additional and enhanced services documentation and ratecard is being finalised; recruitment for NOC is well under way; and most sites designed and under construction.
Hall also announced that the company has signed a playout agreement with Evertz Mediator and that the timetable will see the first TV launch in Grimsby in November 2013, with channels coming on stream over the following year. City DTT will meanwhile be able to launch from the end of this year.
Commenting on HD, Hall said that the award of new HD multiplex (see separate story) could only benefit local TV in the UK.
Speaking about Comux, Hall said that although he is currently the sole shareholder, its ownership would pass into the hands of the local TV licensees by the time the first service is launched.