South East Wales

Local TV: Made in Cardiff takes to the air

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Media captionDespite a wobbly start in some areas, the station manager for local TV in Cardiff is confident

The first local TV channel to broadcast in Wales is taking to the airwaves.

Made in Cardiff will show daily news and magazine programmes about the city on Freeview channel 23.

Station manager Bryn Roberts said Cardiff was the ideal location for a successful local television service.

But deputy culture minister Ken Skates said he was concerned public funds were being diverted from traditional broadcasters to support "struggling" local TV stations across the UK.

Local television services were created after a move by the UK government to replicate the success of similar small broadcasters in the United States.

They are partly funded by the BBC licence fee.

Two other local TV stations in Wales - Bay TV Swansea and Bay TV Clwyd in Mold - are due to launch in 2015.

'Ideal size'

Mr Roberts said that while Made in Cardiff's budget was small, the "adrenaline" was helping his team of 12 people to produce 14 hours of programming a week.

He also predicted the new TV channel would fare better than others.

"I think Cardiff is an ideal size for this kind of venture," said Mr Roberts.

Image copyright Made in Cardiff
Image caption The new channel includes familiar faces such as Chris Segar with a cookery show

"London has tried it - and hasn't been particularly successful - because I think London is too big.

"Some of the smaller places like Norwich and Nottingham have been doing very well, and Glasgow in particular has been doing well."

'Struggling'

But Ken Skates, the Welsh government's deputy minister for culture, said the funds should be used to support traditional public service broadcasters such as the BBC, S4C and ITV Wales.

"You only need to look at what's happening in London where, in theory, local TV could and should work with a potential audience of eight to 10 million," said Mr Skates.

"But it's not, it's struggling, and it's struggling across the UK."

Dr John Jewell, from Cardiff University's school of journalism, media and cultural studies, said: "Even (the media regulator) Ofcom has said it's very unlikely all of these local television stations will survive, but I wouldn't want to be too pessimistic.

"They (Made in Cardiff) have got some very good people working for them, they're in the third biggest media centre in Britain, and everybody knows about Cardiff's thriving media industries.

"In that sense, the basis for success is there."

Made in Cardiff will go live on Freeview channel 23 at 20:00 BST on Wednesday, and will also appear on Sky channel 134 and Virgin Media channel 159 in the city.

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