Your TV hopes to tap up ‘priced out’ advertisers

LOCAL TV bidder Your TV believes it can be commercially viable by winning over advertisers that have been priced out of the existing market.

Your TV, one of two companies to bid for eight licences, is hoping to run local TV in Manchester, Liverpool and Preston, which will also cover Blackpool. It expects to hire around 30 staff in each location.

Managing director Jim Manson told “I think there’s a basis for good local advertising which ITV and the press is not picking up on.

“Our intention is to look at that area of advertising that isn’t being covered, and bring in national advertisers too.”

Bryan Burgess, who is leading the Manchester bid, added: “Some advertisers have gone off the radar because everything’s become so expensive.

“If we get the pricing structure right it will be attractive. Manchester is the second city after all and there are a huge number of buying agencies here.”

Former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt identified 21 towns and cities to pioneer local TV which could start broadcasting on Freeview’s channel eight as early as 2014.

Your TV plans to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is promising a mix of news, culture, entertainment, sport and some user generated material.

The business was founded by former TV producer Jim Manson and Lin Glover, a former regulator with Ofcom’s predecessor the Independent Broadcasting Association.

Mr Manson said the group has attracted funding from unnamed private and institutional investors.

To make the station more relevant in the areas where it has submitted bids, Your TV has assembled regional boards. Manchester’s bid team is led by former PWC partner David McKeith, alongside Mr Burgess, who helped launch Sky’s regional sales team. It also includes Felicity Goodey.

In Liverpool the team is led by Frank McKenna, founder of the business network Downtown, and Lynne Wood, a former managing director of Radio City.

Mr Manson said there was a good business case for local TV and insisted Your TV could succeed where Channel M failed.

He said: “Channel M had very good intentions and could have done very well but it was handled in the wrong way. It had far too many staff and it didn’t have a clear vision and remit as to what it was. It didn’t have a clear selling point – it was a mix of print journalism and TV.

“Even though it was part of the Manchester Evening News it didn’t have a clear marketing policy, and it didn’t have the latest technology so it wasn’t available to everybody.”