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The TV channel for and by the people of Notts ; COVER STORYNottingham will have its very own TV channel next year. Notts TV will deliver news, sport,...

June 29, 2013

YellowBrix

The TV channel for and by the people of Notts ; COVER STORYNottingham will have its very own TV channel next year. Notts TV will deliver news, sport, entertainment, business, politics and plenty more to homes right across the county, seven days a week. SIMON WILSON finds out more...

THE short clip of Prince Harry grinning into the camera and saying ey up mi duck has been seen by millions around the world.

The flame-haired royal also read a news report about local music star Jake Bugg as part of his visit to the city earlier this year, before pulling a lever which triggered a short film about Notts TV.

This was the first glimpse of Nottingham's very first TV channel, which will be launched in April 2014.

It will broadcast on Freeview Channel 8, seven days a week, initially from 4pm to midnight, to homes across the county, delivering a broad range of programmes.

These will include news, sport, entertainment, politics, business, weather, travel and more.

The consortium behind Notts TV includes the Nottingham Post, Nottingham Trent University, Confetti Media Group and Local Digital News.

Everyone is welcome to get involved, says Confetti Media Group MD Craig Chettle, who is also chairman of the Notts TV consortium.

They can come up with ideas for programmes, be part of presenting teams, be among the writers... there are a whole host of ways they can get involved.

A core of about 15 staff will run the station with input from the Post, broadcast journalism students at Nottingham Trent University and further and higher education students at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, an education and training hub for film, TV, games and music creativity in the city. There will also be opportunities for apprentices.

Says Craig: We need to get the blend of experience and professionalism balanced with the student input. It's something we've got 20 years of experience of doing and Trent can do that as well.

It's a great opportunity for people wanting to learn about all manner of things in the television industry. But we want to dispel the notion that it's going to be student-run TV. That is definitely not the case.

Local organisations, community groups and businesses will also contribute heavily to the schedule to ensure that Notts TV delivers content that is relevant to people across the county.

Garry Smith, commercial director at Nottingham Trent University, says: It's not envisaged that we will produce all of the programmes ourselves. We will be commissioning local companies and people who have ideas that fit in with what we are trying to do. It could be a documentary, an animation... quite literally any kind of programme that you would now see on TV.

Programme ideas are still being worked on but so far they include a weekly arts show called Notts On, a sports round-up called Notts Sports, plus regular documentaries on local issues, monthly programmes on local politics, business, community activities, outdoor interests, science and history, and a monthly debate programme called Notts Debate. There are also plans to cover local concerts and other arts events.

Says Craig: We've had ideas for quiz shows, game shows, dramas... we're hoping to get as many ideas as we possibly can.

We're not going to be making Downton Abbey; people in Nottingham are already getting programmes like that, says Nigel Dacre, director of Local Digital News, the London-based company that will be advising on the provision of news content for Notts TV.

What they don't get at the moment are TV programmes about local news, sport, business, shopping, arts, property and the like. And that's what we'll be delivering.

Nigel is a former editor at ITV News, in charge of News at Ten and the 24-hour ITN News Channel. He also oversaw ITV's coverage of two General Elections and Princess Diana's funeral.

News is regarded as a really important part of the service for all local TV channels because it's what is missing in every city, says Nigel.

You have very good television news at a national and regional level but you don't have local TV news.

Garry agrees: From the government's point of view, the news is key. Research from around the world shows that the reason people watch local TV is for local news. And it's one of the main things we are bringing to the table, with our centre for broadcast journalism.

We have nearly 200 broadcast journalism students and a professional TV studio in the city centre. All the equipment is industry standard.

Notts TV News will be journalism-led and have a broad agenda. It will be produced by a team of video journalists and broadcast from the studio at Nottingham Trent University, with headlines and interviews from the Post newsroom.

Nottingham Post Managing Director Steve Hollingsworth said the paper was pleased to be at the heart of a new local TV initiative.

The Post has unrivalled coverage of news, sport and entertainment in Nottinghamshire and we're excited to be able to use our expertise as part of Notts TV, he says.

It's another platform for us to reflect everything that's happening in and around the city and the county.

The channel, one of up to 30 to launch next year around the UK, will have a deal in place with the BBC, which will be supporting the station for the first year in exchange for news content.

The government negotiated with the BBC to use Pounds 40m of the licence fee to support local television services. For Notts TV, that amounts to Pounds 150,000 for the first year but the long-term aim is to generate income from advertising, sponsorship and possibly teleshopping.

Says Nigel: It's impossible for a lot of businesses to advertise on television because it's so expensive. Notts TV will give them an affordable opportunity to do that.

Says Craig: Confetti's role will be the non-news side; culture, music, light entertainment and drama. Nottingham Post, Local Digital News and Nottingham Trent University, with their centre for broadcasting and journalism, are all really well placed to run the news side of things, and other spin-offs like sport.

We've been working with DHP's George Akins [DHP run and promote music and venues in the city] and BBC Radio Nottingham's Dean Jackson about how we can have a Nottingham music show. It would be remiss not to have something like that at the heart of the channel.

He adds: There is often the perception that local means low quality but those two things don't have to go hand in hand. If it's rubbish then people won't watch it and if people don't watch it then businesses won't advertise. Our aim is to produce shows of such a high quality that they can be shown on national television.

Prince Harry's visit to Confetti was to launch the Notts TV Institute - where local creative talent will be trained to work on the channel - and it helped boost the profile of Notts TV around the world.

He was a really good sport and within a few hours that clip of him reading the news was all over the internet. It was shown on TV in America, Australia... it's amazing how quickly these things can evolve. Everyone was so enthused by his attendance and support for what we are doing.

. ? To find out more about Notts TV and how you can get involved, go to nottstv.com

The TV revolution British television has undergone remarkable changes in its 77-year history but none more so than in recent years. By the end of the Eighties, there were just four channels - now there are more than 600.

1936 - The BBC makes its first broadcast 1955 - ITV is Britain's first commercial TV station 1964 - BBC Two launches 1969 - Regular colour television broadcasting begins on BBC One and ITV 1982 - Channel 4 launches 1983 - BBC and ITV broadcast breakfast television services and ITV launch Central News for the East Midlands 1986 - BBC One begins a full daytime schedule service for the first time 1989 - Sky TV is launched as the government introduces a Broadcasting Bill that will pave the way for the deregulation of commercial television 1991 - East Midlands Today delivers regional news content for the first time 1995 - Several new satellite TV channels broadcast for the first 1997 - Channel 5 is launched 1998 - digital satellite television, spearheaded by Sky, is launched 2007 - online viewing becomes the norm as BBC iPlayer begins 2008 - ITV launches the first full service in HD 2011 - Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announces plans for more than 60 towns and cities to host the UK''s first local television services, saying: I want people to be able to watch television that''s truly relevant to them, about what''s happening where they live and featuring the people they know. 2012 - Ofcom, the communications industry regulator, invites applications to run local TV services in 21 areas. In total, 57 applications were received to run the services. Notts TV is one of the first cities to be awarded a licence, valid for 12 years. 2013 - Last week Ofcom invited applications for seven new local TV licences 2014 - Notts TV is due to launch in April.

Notts TV will only be available to view on Freeview Channel 8. Freeview is a way of receiving digital TV without using a cable or satellite dish and without the need for a monthly contract. The small box is plugged in to an existing TV aerial to receive around 40 free TV channels. Some new televisions already have the Freeview receiver built in.

Initially, Notts TV will not be available through Sky, Virgin or TalkTalk when it launches next year.

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