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BBC loses out in local television race


By John Glenday, Reporter

January 29, 2013 | 2 min read

The BBC faces being landed with a bill for as much as £25m after it lost a race to run any of the 19 new local television stations planned in Britain.

Comux, a joint venture between local TV companies and Canis Media, snatched the lucrative contract from under the BBC after it promised to build the necessary infrastructure for the network to take shape, including a clutch of antennae and transmitters.

Excess capacity generated by this network, sufficient to carry two commercial channels reaching half the UK population, would then be sold to private sector clients, with estimated proceeds of £10m used to fund new content.

It is a bitter blow to the former front-runner, which will now lose out on £25m it has already pumped into the scheme – in addition to a further £15m it is committed to spend on content purchases over the coming three years.

Ed Hall, chief executive of Canis, said: “The way in which this money is spent needs to reflect the small, fast entrepreneurial manner in which the local television stations will operate themselves. We will do that and I am not sure the BBC would have done."


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