Did you know there’s lots of great quality local TV around the UK? There are now 31 local TV stations, serving viewers from Belfast to Brighton, London to Leeds, and lots of other places too. You can find your nearest local TV service by tuning into Freeview Channels 7 or 8.
Local TV stations provide a wide variety of programmes, including news, sport, drama, comedy and documentaries. Here’s just a flavour of what they have to offer.
One of the first local TV stations to be launched in Britain was Notts TV, which started broadcasting in May 2014. The service is a truly local affair, with a management team whose members include the Nottingham Post and Nottingham Trent University.
Like many local TV stations, Notts TV has a broad agenda, covering politics, business, sports, consumer news, the arts, weather and travel. It serves 250,000 viewers on Freeview channel 7, and is also available online for viewers further afield.
London Live focuses on local stories and local people, but the station also broadcasts classic comedy shows, such as Desmond’s and Drop the Dead Donkey, great drama shows like Spooks, and interviews with famous faces visiting the capital.
One of the upcoming highlights on London Live is the UK Network Premiere of “Kids in Love”. Set against a backdrop of bohemian London, the film offers a new take on the coming of age drama. Starring Will Poulter and Cara Delevigne, Kids in Love is on London Live on Saturday 7 April at 10pm.
Recent broadcast changes means that you may have to retune to continue watching London Live. For more information click here.
Local TV in Scotland has undergone some changes in the past year, with local channels for Glasgow and Edinburgh combined with three new licences for Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee under one distinct brand called STV2.
As well as broadcasting local news and sport, STV2 provides a nightly programme offering a Scottish perspective on news from the UK and beyond. Daytime and evening magazine programmes feature stories of special interest to Scottish viewers.
STV2 has also introduced its viewers to Days of Honour, a gripping wartime drama from Poland, and to Fair City, Ireland’s popular soap. And the station has brought back some of Scotland’s best-loved TV shows, including Take the High Road and Taggart. STV2 is available to viewers in Scotland on Freeview Channel 8.
Latest TV is the local TV station serving viewers in and around Brighton. The station launched in August 2014, broadcasting a varied schedule of programmes for local interest on Freeview Channel 7.
Latest TV provides a daily half hour news programme, and several times a week broadcasts The Vote, in which local politicians, lobbyists and influence-formers engage in heated debates on hot topics affecting Brighton and beyond.
Latest TV is keen to showcase the best of Brighton’s music scene. The station’s Live from the Roadee programme gives local artistes the chance to perform in a state-of-the art mobile recording studio.
Brighton is home to a large LGBT+ population, and this is reflected in the range of Latest TV programmes, including Queer Say, which provides LGBT+ news and media from around the world, Beyond the Rainbow, with an entertaining mix of music and chat, and AK Soufflé, in which Andrew Kay interviews personalities who are part of or work within the LGBT+ world.
One of the newest local TV channels is KMTV, which launched in July 2017, serving viewers in Kent. Broadcasting on Freeview Channel 7, KMTV’s output includes a nightly news programme focused on what’s happening in the county, as well as live local programmes devoted to business, politics and sport. The station also shows classic British movies, and a range of handpicked content from fitness to cooking, music to documentaries.
Each of local TV’s 31 stations has its own style and its own approach to serving viewers.
Sheffield Live’s coverage includes updates on the Sheffield Sharks basketball team, music from the hottest new talent in the city region and Arabic language magazine programmes.
In Belfast, NVTV ensures that everyone in the community gets a chance to have their voice heard. In March, the station focused on The Pensioners’ Parliament, a platform for older people to discuss things that they have in common with each other, and to tell local politicians about their concerns. At the other end of the age scale, NVTV’s SmART programme focuses on arts and crafts activities for young people.
Viewers interested in getting a glimpse of local TV coverage outside their own regions can tune into the Digital Nation archive. This series of programmes showcases the best of local TV, whether it’s puppeteers in Portsmouth, laughing yoga in Cardiff, or a festival of fire in Shetland.
From hard-hitting stories on homelessness to celebrating the success of local sporting heroes, local TV is making its mark and reflecting the interests of communities around the UK.