Belfast Telegraph

Belfast in line to get new local TV service

Ministers have paved the way for Belfast to get its own dedicated television channel - possibly as soon as 2013.

The Government has confirmed that the city is one of 65 locations across the country to be considered for the move.

Around 260,000 households will be able to access the service, which would initially be found on channel eight on a freeview box. It would also cover Lisburn.

Separate channels have been proposed for Limavady, including parts of Ballymoney and Coleraine, which would cover 55,000 households, and Londonderry, which would cover 40,000 homes.

Bids will be opened to run the channels in the next few months, and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom will decide on an initial batch of 20 to be up and running by 2013.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "This represents the biggest change in the broadcast landscape for decades."

It is estimated that just over half of the UK's population will be covered by one of the new channels, which will be based around existing transmitter locations.

Belfast Telegraph

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