The BBC has commissioned a weekly half-hour programme called Digital Nation drawing on content from the UK’s network of 20 local TV stations.
The stations are commercially funded but are also subsidised by £40m taken from the BBC licence fee. Some £25m of this is being spent on broadcasting infrastructure while the rest is spent on programming.
Current funding will last until April 2017.
Digital Nation series producer Angi Mariani said: “Our approach has been to re-invent and update the model that was set by the popular Nationwide show back in the 70s and 80s.
“It’s a fast-moving magazine show, aimed at a modern audience, delivering stories to stimulate and entertain viewers, in watchable bite-sized chunks.”
The show is broadcast online by the BBC.
Local TV channels are available on Freeview Channel 8 in England and Northern Ireland.
Channels have been launched so far in Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Preston, Sheffield and Southampton.
The BBC already regularly buys news coverage from various local TV outlets.
Picture: A coffee shop in a phone box in Birmingham.