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Local TV on Freeview - table of winners and losers

A new table showing the towns and cities in the UK that might benefit from the local TV on Freeview service.

A new table showing the towns and cities in the UK that might b
published on UK Free TV

The table below details the areas covered (and not covered) by the new proposed local television on Freeview. Some of the most populous areas London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff, Southampton and Bristol already are BBC and ITV regional centres, shown "BBC" and "ITV".

I have noted "Poor coverage" for cities and towns that have a proposed "interleaved frequency" where the population covered is below two-thirds. The predicted coverage is shown as the second column.

The "no transmitter" areas of Leicester, Coventry, Bradford, Wolverhampton, Derby, Salford have large populations, but no suitable transmitter for an interleaved frequency.

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Location % Population Notes
London including Greater London area 97% 7714048 BBC ITV
Birmingham including Greater Birmingham area, part of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley 100% 2892768 BBC ITV
Leeds including DewsburyHalifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield 91% 2651704 BBC ITV
Manchester including Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport 100% 2651704 BBC ITV
Newcastle including Gateshead, South Shields, Sunderland 90% 2410640 BBC ITV
Liverpool including St Helens, Widnes, Wigan, Wirral 99% 2121363 1st
Glasgow including East Kilbride, Motherwell, Paisley 88% 1807980 BBC ITV
Edinburgh including Dunfermline 48% 1470490 2nd
Cardiff including Newport, Bridgend 74% 1205320 BBC ITV
Falkirk including Stirling 74% 1108894 3rd
Southampton including Eastleigh, Fareham, parts of Isle of Wight, parts of Portsmouth, Winchester 54% 1108894 BBC ITV
Dundee including Arbroath, Perth 38% 940150 Poor coverage
Bristol 87% 916043 BBC ITV
Reading 39% 867830 Poor coverage
Preston including Blackpool 97% 843724 4th
Nottingham 94% 747298 BBC
Middlesbrough including HartlepoolStockton on Tees 76% 699086 5th
Grimsby including Parts of Kingston upon Hull 100% 650873 6th
Belfast including Lisburn 96% 626766 BBC ITV
Maidstone 64% 530341 7th
Sheffield including parts of Rotherham 63% 458022 8th
Guildford including Parts of Woking 29% 433915 Poor coverage
Ayr including Kilmarnock 65% 409809 9th
Norwich 96% 373649 BBC ITV
Brighton and Hove 65% 361596 10th
Stoke on Trent including Newcastle under Lyme 80% 361596 11th
York 47% 361596 Poor coverage
Gloucester including Cheltenham 93% 337490 12th
Lancaster including Morecambe, Heysham 30% 337490 Poor coverage
Telford 52% 337490 Poor coverage
Leicester 0% 330574 No transmitter
Aberdeen 100% 313383 ITV
Coventry 0% 303475 No transmitter
Hull 0% 301416 BBC
Bradford 0% 293717 No transmitter
Burnley including Nelson, Colne 68% 289277 13th
Carlisle 62% 289277 ITV
Reigate including parts of Crawley 62% 289277 14th
Swansea including Llanelli 61% 289277 15th
Hemel Hempstead including Parts of St Albans 34% 265170 16th
Oxford including Abingdon, Didcot 100% 265170 BBC
Wolverhampton 0% 251462 No transmitter
Plymouth 0% 243795 BBC
Derby 0% 229407 No transmitter
Haywards Heath including HeathfieldUckfield 67% 229011 17th
Plymouth 106% 226600 18th
Salford 0% 221300 No transmitter
Mold including Denbigh, Ruthin 28% 214547 Poor coverage
Basingstoke 73% 212136 19th
Cambridge 99% 202494 20th
Bromsgrove 35% 200083 Poor coverage
Luton 28% 195262 Poor coverage
Keighley 43% 190441 21st
Malvern 63% 190441 22nd
Northampton 0% 189474 No transmitter
Portsmouth 0% 186000 No transmitter
Dudley 0% 184619 No transmitter
Milton Keynes 0% 184506 No transmitter
Sunderland 0% 177739 No transmitter
Inverness 69% 173566 23rd
Walsall 0% 170994 No transmitter
Bournemouth 0% 167527 No transmitter
Stratford upon Avon 43% 163924 Poor coverage
Southend-on-sea 0% 160257 No transmitter
Swindon 0% 155432 No transmitter
Bedford including Sandy 100% 154281 24th
Tonbridge including Parts of Tunbridge Wells 73% 149460 25th
Bolton 0% 139403 No transmitter
Ipswich 0% 138718 No transmitter
West Bromwich 0% 136940 No transmitter
Peterborough 0% 136292 No transmitter
Stockport 0% 136082 No transmitter
Limavady including Parts of Ballymoney, parts of Coleraine 65% 132585 26th
Slough 0% 126276 No transmitter
Dover including Parts of Folkestone 81% 125353 27th
Gloucester 0% 123205 No transmitter
Carmarthen 78% 122943 28th
Poole 41% 122943 Poor coverage
Watford 0% 120960 No transmitter
Elgin 58% 120532 Poor coverage
Chester 0% 118000 No transmitter
Rotherham 0% 117262 No transmitter
Newport 0% 116143 No transmitter
Greenock including Dunoon 74% 110889 29th
Shrewsbury 96% 110889 30th
Lisburn 0% 110000 No transmitter
Chichester 0% 108000 No transmitter
Winchester 0% 108000 No transmitter
Exeter 0% 106772 No transmitter
Eastbourne 0% 106562 No transmitter
Hereford 98% 106068 31st
Scarborough 75% 106068 32nd
Blackburn 0% 105085 No transmitter
Colchester 0% 104390 No transmitter
St. Helens 0% 102629 No transmitter
Salisbury 74% 101247 33rd
Crawley 0% 100547 No transmitter
Derry / Londonderry 90% 96426 34th
Worcester 0% 93000 No transmitter
Bath 0% 90000 No transmitter
Kidderminster 63% 84372 35th
Barnstaple 94% 81962 36th
Haverfordwest 96% 60266 37th
Bangor 77% 53034 38th

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

7:20 PM

Steve P: ...

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB

7:23 PM

David: The position of the Idle transmitter means that there are no frequencies available for an interleave. Also, most homes in Bradford will use Emley Moor as their primary transmitter.

The whole point of the exercise is to have local television, and Leeds and Bradford are different cities.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB

7:27 PM

Mike Dimmick: The Ofcom document, provides the figure of 360,000 households for Reading on page 11. This multiplied by 2.41 gives the population figure. If it wrong, then Ofcom are wrong.
Mind you, the same table says there are 94,000 households in Plymouth and 100,000 of them use Freeview..

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
10:53 PM

Cambridge is listed twice. Brian, please could you clarify which areas of Cambridge/Cambs are served by Madingley - population 202k and 'no transmitter' of a population of 113k.

Is the ranking of 1st -> 38th a ranking from the most dense to most sparsely populated areas served by GI multiplexes from relay transmitters? There are an additional 12 areas with poor coverage, for example Luton, covering the town centre, but poor coverage serving North Luton and villages.

To summarise, 50% of the population will receive local TV via GI multiplexes. An additional 16% will receive local TV via GI multiplexes from main transmitters, which means a larger area receiving local TV which isn't really local - unless the BBC, ITV Tx's such as Crystal Palace takes into account 'petalled' directional multiplexes?

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Daniel's 2 posts GB

11:09 PM

Daniel: Sorry, my error. I merged two sheets together and as Cambridge wasn't covered in plan A... You can see the coverage map on the Local TV on Freeview - new Ofcom maps | - independent free digital TV advice page.

The rankings are of places that have a workable local TV service - more than 66% coverage and not already a regional hub.

I suspect that with less than 50% coverage a local channel will not be a workable proposition in a locality.

As for percentages:

63.8% of the population will get a local TV service. That's 42% who already are in a city that has a BBC or ITV regional news hub. 21.8% will be in areas that don't have an existing hub.

6.9% are in areas with "poor" coverage and probably will not have a viable local service.

29.2% of the population live in places that stand no change of having a local TV service.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Thursday, 11 August 2011
7:07 AM

Thanks Brian. For 29.2% of the population, should new transmitters or new antenna equipment to existing DAB/FM transmitters be put up to ensure that local TV is available to all by DTT?

Of course, it is up to the market to decide. But, when providing cities such as Coventry, Leicester and Peterborough, surely there is a case for a transmitter to suit the local population. The mux only needs to be ~500W/1kW, directional and at best in group and same polarisation as the current transmitter.

However, iPTV, and other platforms probably will take up the opportunity for 29.2% population.

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Daniel's 2 posts GB

7:29 AM

Daniel: Quite a lot of the population in the 29.2% is in places that local TV just won't cover, in particular where the population density is very low.

The problems for Coventry, Leicester and Peterborough (and others) is not a transmitter site, but that people in these places do not share a common transmitter. The local TV service has to be an add-on to the current Freeview service, most people won't want to pay £100 to have another aerial installed and a diplexers just to get one extra channel.

Another issue is that the interleaved frequencies occur because they are slotted into the DTT transmitter plan. If you start trying to add in other transmitters, the chances of having an interleaved frequency reduce.

It should also be noted that money is not being thrown at this project, so the assumption that existing masts will be used.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Mike Dimmick

2:21 PM

Briantist: £25m is about what Arqiva and NGW said they would be charging a PSB for transmission from all 1,100 site, in 2005 money.

As far as population goes, re-read page 2 of 3 of Ofcom's document for the definitions of 'Gross Population' and 'DPSA Population':

"Gross population represents the total number of households that could receive the local multiplex if their aerials are pointing towards the appropriate transmitter.

"DPSA is an attempt to provide a more realistic estimate of the number of households that might be able to receive the local multiplex than gross population. The DPSA (Digital Preferred Service Area) is a prediction of the areas where a particular transmitter is likely to provide better signals than other transmitters. In those areas, it is reasonable to expect that households have aerials pointing at the transmitter in question and could therefore receive the local multiplex broadcast from that transmitter."

Where more than one transmitter is used, the 'gross' figure is the largest from any *one* transmitter, but the 'DPSA' figure comes from the sum of *all* transmitters. That has led to a few anomalies where the DPSA figure is larger than the gross figure.

If you're trying to represent the actual populations of those areas, might I suggest using List of largest United Kingdom settlements by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia or List of urban areas in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - however, that is people, not households. If you're going to adjust a population figure to get approximate count of households, using a figure for average occupancy, you need to *divide* by 2.41, not multiply.

On that basis I reckon you get 369,804 / 2.41 = 153,445 households in the Reading/Wokingham urban area, and therefore the proposed local multiplex would cover 235% of them on a gross coverage basis, 91.2% in DPSA.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB

5:00 PM

Mike Dimmick: Jeremy Hunt, speaking on the Media Show, said that the cost per local TV station would be about £500,000 per year. This could be covered by £10,000 a week of advertising (or other) income.

The cost of the transmitters is being bankrolled by the £25m a year "earmarked" BBC money - see BBC licence fee held at 145.50 until 2016 | - independent free digital TV advice .

The Ofcom figures - where there is a single transmitter in the proposed scheme, "gross" in the households in the "target" area and DPSA is the number of those households using that single transmitter.

Where there is more than one transmitter in the proposed scheme, "gross" is still the number of households in the "target" area, households are not counted twice if they are in the reception area of transmitter A and transmitter B. It's not the coverage area of the "biggest transmitter". In this configuration the DPSA is the households that use transmitter A or transmitter B, and will be less than if there is another transmitter than is used by the households in the target area.

I get 2.41 from the UK population -…tion - divided by 25652174 which is the Ofcom figure for "total UK homes".

So, Ofcom document page 11, "Reading gross population (households)" 360,000 multiplied by 2.41 gives 867600.

I think you have missed the "hh" standing for Households. I sense checked this with the London figure which is 3.2m households x 2.41 = 7712000 which is almost the figure of 7,753,600 on Greater London - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
5:07 PM

I notice the disparity between the Gross and DPSA figures for the Dundee area, and having read the Ofcom document and looked at the map, I don't think it equates to poor coverage.

Given that the coverage area shown on the map extends to the Edinburgh area, I presume households in the Lothians are being included in the Gross figure, but that is irrelevant if the target area is Dundee and Angus (I think Perth may be stretching it)


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Stuart's 17 posts GB
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