Comux UK the not for profit organisation of local TV licence holders which is owned by Canis Media has been named as the new multiplex operator for local TV on digital terrestrial television.
The telecommunications regulator Ofcom has chosen Comux to build and operate a technical infrastructure to broadcast to local areas of the UK through the Freeview free to air digital television service.
The licence, called the ‘MuxCo’ licence has been awarded to Comux for a 12 year period, and Comux are now responsible for the delivery of local television channels to air by the end of 2013.
In May 2012 the telecommunications regulator Ofcom invited applications from companies to run a local digital television service in 21 areas using a dedicated local TV multiplex and 57 applications were received to run local TV in 19 areas.
14 local licences have been awarded so far by Ofcom for areas such as Brighton, Sheffield, Scotland and Grimsby. An announcement on the London licence is also expected in the near future.
Comux UK will be managed by Canis Media and based in Birmingham Science park. All of the profits that are made from the venture by Comux will be channelled back into local TV. The charity will also be headed up by Canis Media’s head of local Clare Bramley.
Ed Hall of Canis Media said that playing a role in local TV is “one of the most exciting changes to the UK’s TV landscape for many years”.
He added “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 revolutionises how the UK’s local communities are served by TV.”
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