Local radio operators including UKRD and Town and Country Broadcasting have joined together to bid for the government's new licences for local television.
Calling themselves Six Television, the group have submitted their plans to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport at the 'expression of interest' stage of the process.
Six Television says it will be a multi-platform local lifestyle service. The initiative is led by several leading British regional radio groups from right across the UK including UKRD, Town and Country Broadcasting, Media Sound Holdings, Dee 106.3 and Silk 106.9. A number of other local commercial radio groups are expected to join the consortium shortly.
Wiliam Rogers Chief Executive of UKRD who own stations including Pirate FM, Minister and Star Radio, told RadioToday.co.uk: "To be successful, Local TV will need strong cross-media support promotion and, in particular, strong local sales. Local commercial radio is perfectly placed to deliver against both these criteria. For the first time, we will be able to challenge the BBC across both radio and television in our own local marketplaces."
Jason Bryant Executive Chairman of Town and Country Broadcasting, the leading local radio operator in Wales said: "The local commercial radio services provided by the stakeholders in Six Television are already the leading local media in many parts of the UK. I am delighted to see so many stations united behind the idea that local commercial radio should take a lead in the provision of Government proposals for the new local television services."
Allan Moulds, Chief Executive of Media Sound Holdings, who run four stations in Sussex, said: "Our sales teams are better placed than any to take advantage of the opportunities that evolve from Local TV and we are looking forward to evolving our ideas over the coming months to benefit the communities we serve."
And Chris Hurst, Chief Executive of Cheshire stations Dee 106.3 and Silk 106.9 added: "We’re delighted to be part of these innovative plans. Local video programming content is now extremely cost effective to produce and we are looking forward to highlighting how local radio can ensure the viability of new local TV services."
A new TV network for the UK – which could begin to launch as early as the end of next year – would have some national programmes as well as local content from around the country. It's thought there's a goal of launching 10 to 15 new local services by 2015.