Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

Bay TV wins Welsh hyperlocal licences

Bay TV has been awarded two more hyperlocal television licences as it prepares to launch its first channel in Liverpool.

The company, which is based in the city and headed up Mercury Press founder, Chris Johnson along with Chris Kerr, has been chosen to run services for Mold and Swansea.

Bay TV Clwyd will serve the Mold area, including Ruthin and Denbigh, with an “added ambition” to cover Wrexham, via satellite and the internet.

Johnson stated that his intention was to get Bay TV Clwyd up and running in October this year, with his team in Liverpool working to kit out the studios, which would be based in Mold or Wrexham.

Bay was up against Serch TV for the licence and in awarding the contract Ofcom stated:

“Bay TV Clwyd made a sustainable and realistic content proposition based on news and current affairs made within and covering the area of Mold. 

Bay TV's Chris Kerr & Chris Johnson Bay TV’s Chris Kerr & Chris Johnson

“The BLC [Broadcast Licensing Committee] considered that the proposed service would broaden the range of programmes available in the area as well increase the number and range of programmes made in or about the area to a greater extent. The BLC further noted the strong local partnerships made by Bay TV Clwyd. The BLC also noted its proposal to provide an element of Welsh language programming to reflect the population of the coverage area.”

In Swansea, Bay was up against local company, Engage4Life. However, Ofcom’s BLC decided that Engage4Life’s “assumptions about its costs and revenues were less realistic than those of Bay TV Swansea.”

It added: 

“Bay TV Swansea made a realistic and credible content proposition. The BLC noted the local partnerships it had established, in particular with television production and news partners, as well as the applicant’s plans to cover the licence area as a whole (including Llanelli) from year 1. 

“The BLC also noted the proposals for Welsh language programming, which recognised the interests of the proportion of Welsh language speakers in the area.”

Johnston, in his submission, said that Bay TV Swansea could be broadcasting as early as September, creating 14 new jobs in the city.

They mark the 24th and 25th local television licences awarded by Ofcom, with the first channel in Grimsby starting broadcasting on 26th November last year.

Related News