Hadn’t noticed this one before. The BBC have been trialling Local TV in the West Midlands. It’s a tighter audience than the current regional setup (South Today for instance covers a triangular area from the west of Dorset, up well past Oxford into the Midlands, and down to Brighton area).
I hope they found success. It seems they have enough material coverage too. The bulletins at ten minutes a-piece seemed to cover a lot of detail.
The local websites (for example bbc.co.uk/hampshire/) are okay, but never seem to carry enough relevant news. Often I’ll check the BBC site for information about an event or recent newsworthy incident and find there’s nothing there. Portsmouth News tend to skimp on their online news coverage as well, but of course they want you to buy their paper.
The local area has already been blessed with three local TV stations. SixTV in Portsmouth & Southampton, and Solent TV (for the Isle of Wight) have been with us for a few years, although in the times I’ve been in those places the reception hasn’t been great for any of them so I can’t really tell you whether they’re of any use or not!
ITV have also been in on the game, with ITV Local growing quite substantially in the last few months. Their local coverage for the Meridian region (again, southern England) is very good, and the Internet quality is excellent;quite watchable.
It’ll be interesting to see how local television pans out. The cost of setup, production and broadcast now seem to have reached a point where it becomes viable to run at such local levels. Of course advertising can be more directly targeted to individual areas, and surely people are more likely to turn to their city news than their regional news if the quality is good enough.