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Talk TV ‘goes local’ in new deal

GB News / Talk TV

Talk TV ‘goes local’ in new deal

Having failed to gain much of an audience the Rupert Murdoch owned telly station is venturing into a new regional realm in an attempt to boost ratings.

News Broadcasting, the TV and audio division of News UK, has expanded on its previous content sharing and commercial partnership deal with Local TV Limited, which operates poorly produced ‘local’ television in several cities.

TV Critic Vivian Summers:

Local TV was, and I’m afraid is,  a total wasted opportunity and all that it allowed was a few individuals to get rich very quickly off the millions of licence fee money that was dolled out by the Tories at the start of it to subsidise very badly planned ‘television’. Some now offer nothing but music videos and quota filling brief local news. Others have offered American import repeats and news programming pre-recorded, a day out of date, presented from a footpath next to a withered bush. Talk TV can only be an improvement. But people should be asking the Tories was this initial BBC money well spent? And we all should be asking what was it actually spent on, because very little ever appeared to be invested on screen.”

The original partnership saw TalkTV become the exclusive provider of national programming across Local TV’s network of channels from 1 January 2023, which includes local news video services on Freeview Channels 7 & 8, Virgin Media Channel 159, online and social media in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, North Wales, Teesside and Tyne & Wear. That equates to five million homes or approximately 18% of all UK television households. The new deal will see the regional offerings rebranded entirely with the TALK name.

News Broadcasting Director of TV, Richard Wallace:

“I’m delighted to partner with Local TV as we continue to drive brand awareness for TalkTV. Only eight months old, TalkTV is reaching more and more people when and where they want to view our content; whether that be online, via the app, social media, streaming services or on linear TV. This partnership allows us to bring a national perspective to Local TV’s brilliant hyper-focused content on Freeview and Virgin Media.”

TalkTV launched in April as a new voice in news, current affairs, debate and opinion. The service which is also mostly united in content with Talk Radio, was an attempt to capture the market of news and views programming. This has thus far failed to happen. Rival station, with half the budget, GB News has seemingly acquired the UK audience who want this type of format.

Presenters include Piers Morgan, Jeremy Kyle, Vanessa Feltz, Tom Newton Dunn and Julia Hartley Brewer. TalkTV is available on Sky Channel 522, Sky Glass Channel 508, Virgin Media Channel 606, Freeview Channel 237 and Freesat Channel 217 as well as on DAB+, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV Plus, YouTube, the Talk.TV website and TalkTV iOS and Android apps.

Local TV CEO, Lesley Mackenzie:

“Our viewers, who have been served with an outstanding local news service for five years, will now have superb national TV programming to match. Talk TV is the most innovative UK broadcaster and Local TV Ltd is proud to deliver its national shows, featuring Piers Morgan and a host of other stars, to our network of local stations.”

There were two exceptions to the poor offering of the local TV service. These were London Live and STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh (later STV2) which all three provided local quality content and regional programming.

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