Local Television takes a BIG leap forward with launch of new station in West MidlandsBy Chris Johnson
The reach of Local Television in the UK is taking a huge leap forward with the launch of the latest station Big Centre TV (on Sat 28th Feb 2015).
Like Bay TV Liverpool, the channel is one of the new generation of local TV stations that have been set-up in an initiative started by the Department of Culture Media and Sport.
Broadcasting to Birmingham, the Black Country and the West Midlands, Big Centre takes the potential audience served by local TV stations across the UK to more than 12million.
The Local TV Network (LTVN) proclaimed the arrival of Big Centre - making it the 16th local TV station in UK – as a “great milestone”.
The LTVN also flagged-up the popularity and success enjoyed by the stations that have gone to air in less than 18 months, across England and Wales, Scotland, and N Ireland.
Chris Johnson, an LTVN Director and head of Bay TV Liverpool said: “We are delighted to see the launch of Big Centre TV. It is a great milestone in the development of local TV in the UK.
“I am sure it will take its place as a major media outlet that will deliver a vibrant and locally-relevant mix of programmes.
“All local stations are committed to delivering a range of entertaining and informative shows that viewers simply cannot access elsewhere.
“And audience research and measurement figures have already demonstrated that there is huge appetite for local TV with a steady growth in take-up by viewers and advertisers alike.
“There is no room for complacency but local TV is already a significant force in the UK media landscape and with more stations to come we are in the midst of a local tv revolution in the UK.”
Big Centre TV, which broadcasts on Freeview Channel 8, has put together an ambitious schedule of programming which includes local affairs, sport, children’s programming, entertainment and music.
The schedule showcases Big Centre’s commitment to local programming with a series of shows being created for the channel, including: The David Hamilton Show, Brummywood-Yammywood, The Bostin’ Bear Club, and WASSIFA.
The David Hamilton Show sees David and a host of celebrity guests take a look back at the history of TV in the Midlands, remembering the TV themes and stars from the region’s shows of yesteryear.
In Brummywood-Yammywood – film critic, Carl Jones, will talk about the latest developments on the silver screen, as well as showcasing the works of independent TV and filmmakers from across the West Midlands.
The Bostin’ Bear Club will be the platform for Big Centre TV’s morning children’s programming with a range of shows including Shakespuss, The Adventures of Henry Egg and Belly Button Buddies.
WASSIFA is a Caribbean family music show, which Big Centre TV is producing in partnership with South and City College Birmingham.
Mike Prince, co-founder and director of programmes for Big Centre TV, said: “The passion and creativity that exists in the West Midlands has allowed us to create a schedule that provides a balance of entertainment and news that reflects the diverse audience of the region.
“It has been very exciting working with the programme developers to create the shows for Big Centre TV and we are delighted to provide the platform to give life to some amazing programmes and showcase fantastic stories from across Birmingham and the Black Country.
“In addition to our entertainment programming, a major focus of Big Centre TV is our commitment to providing quality local news coverage. To deliver this we have recruited legendary Midlands broadcaster Bob Hall to head up our news team, which will deliver updates throughout the day.”
Big Centre TV will broadcast from 7am to midnight daily. Additional shows featuring on the channel will include:
CuppaTV – a show about health, fitness, lifestyle and raising a young family.
Extra Time – a sports chat show discussing the region’s teams across a variety of sports.
Land Rovers Live – a programme that celebrates the history of one of the world’s most iconic vehicles, and shares in the adventures and achievements of Land and Range Rover owners from across Britain, Europe and around the world.
Sports Legends – coverage of Bowls knockout tournament featuring the best players from the local area and further afield.
Soundcheck – a new Midlands music show, which will showcase latest bands and the best talent that the region has to offer.
In addition, Big Centre TV will allow viewers to use the channel to send messages to their friends, family and loved ones through the Personal Column, which will feature dedications, birthdays and anniversaries.
Big Centre TV will start broadcasting on Freeview Channel 8 at 6pm on Saturday, 28th February. To ensure access to the channel Big Centre TV advises that viewers check their Freeview listings and retune if necessary.
For more information on Big Centre visit www.bigcentre.tv
For information of the Local TV Network visit www.localtvnetwork.org.uk