Jack Stopforth, who is retiring as CEO of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce
THE licence to run Liverpool’s new local television station has been awarded to Bay TV.
The Liverpool Innovation Park-based internet TV service beat four rival bids to secure the licence. Bay’s bid was chaired by former Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Jack Stopforth (pictured).
The channel is expected to reach 890,000 homes and is set to go on air before the end of the year. Bay TV will work with local organisations including Edge Hill University and hi-tech firm AIMES Grid Services.
Announcing its bid last year, Bay said: “On the new Freeview channel (Bay TV) will be dedicated to covering every aspect of life in and around the city region and to enabling the widest possible involvement of the viewing public, business interests and the public sector.”
The other bidders were YourTV Liverpool, Made Television, Metro8Liverpool and Phil Redmond’s Our-TV consortium.
In its decision document, Ofcom said “Bay TV Liverpool put forward the strongest application for award of the licence in the Liverpool coverage area.”
It added: “Bay TV Liverpool put forward proposals which the Broadcast Licensing Committee (BLC) considered would broaden the range of programming available to the greatest extent of all the Liverpool applicants, and would also increase the number and range of programmes made in or about the local area.
“The BLC considered that Bay TV Liverpool’s application demonstrated the greatest understanding of the needs of the local area and put forward programming proposals which would address those needs to the greatest extent.
“In addition, Bay TV Liverpool had established partnerships within the local area which the BLC considered would further strengthen its proposals.”
The document considered each bid in turn.
It said the bid by Canadian-based Metro8 “did not demonstrate an understanding of the needs of the local population to the same extent as those from the other four applicants”, despite the company’s experienced management.
It said Our-TV’s commitment to involving the community in its work gave it an “innovative model” but said: “The BLC considered that the programming proposals were insufficiently developed to enable a clear assessment of the extent to which the proposed service would meet the needs of the local area.”
Ofcom said Bay TV’s was the strongest of the remaining three bids, adding: “It was felt that it would meet the needs of the local area to the greatest extent, and the proposed programming would be supported by the strongest local relationships that any applicant for the Liverpool licence had set out.”
Bay TV Chairman, Jack Stopforth, said: "This city has always been a fantastic source of news and Scousers have a huge appetite for supporting and promoting their city. We have to channel that and capitalise on it."
Bay TV Liverpool chief executive Chris Johnson said: "We are thrilled and delighted to have won the licence. I want to thank all the team at Bay TV Liverpool who have worked so hard to pull this off."
He added: "With the new licence we will soon be on Channel 8 on Freeview and we are 100% committed to providing a station the people of Liverpool and surrounding areas can really call their own."