Northern Ireland’s first local TV channel, Belfast-based NvTv, went on air this week. NvTv will air a mix of local news, current affairs, arts, culture, music and heritage shows.
The station, which is part of a wider rollout of local stations across the UK, will broadcast in the Belfast area on Freeview channel 8 and Virgin Media channel 159. NvTv previously broadcast as a community TV station from an analogue transmitter for around four years until digital switchover ended its run.
It is the eighth local TV station to take to the airwaves in the UK following the launch of Sheffield Live on 23 September. Ofcom is responsible for licensing local TV stations on digital terrestrial TV and has now issued 30 licences across the UK.
A second phase of licensing is already under way and there is continued interest from potential applicants in launching channels.
However, last month, Ofcom warned that it is “very unlikely” that all the new local TV stations being licensing will succeed, after Birmingham’s City TV became the first to go into administration in August.