New TV channel opens up opportunities in Leeds

Isi Abebe and Mark O'Brien from Made in Leeds TV arrive at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week

Isi Abebe and Mark O’Brien from Made in Leeds TV arrive at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week

By Sallie Gregson

After two years of bidding Made In Leeds beat fierce competition from other local media companies to provide a local television service to the city.

This month they were granted a licence by the communications regulator Ofcom. This means a TV channel dedicated to Leeds will be broadcast on Freeview channel 8 and Sky channel 117 from November.

The station head, Isi Abebe, 35, seemed confident about the future as he gave a talk to Leeds Trinity students at Journalism Week this afternoon.

He said: “The people of Leeds are unique and our channel will be a reflector of the community we serve, with 90 second news updates every hour and two hours of original content every day.”

Funding is coming from the BBC who will provide £25 million for setup and £5 million for three years towards content costs for all local TV services throughout the country. Other funding will be provided by sponsors and advertising.

Producer and researcher at Made In Leeds, Mark O’Brien, 23, gave an insight into the types of programs that will be produced: “There will be one hour of live news, shows about football, cookery and a localised magazine show at 8.30pm.”

The Leeds United fanzine Squareball will be producing the football show but Mr O’Brien said they were hoping to attract further sports related shows as the city has so many popular sports teams.

And the cookery show will feature local radio presenter Jojo Kelly who they hope will be a recognisable face to the audiences.

Made In Leeds is part of a company called Made Television Ltd who have won three other licences for channels in Cardiff, Bristol, and Newcastle.

Ofcom explained why they chose Made In Leeds: “They demonstrated greater understanding of the specific needs of the area and had stronger local links and more developed partnership proposals.”

Watch Mr Abebe and Mr O’Brien talk about why their channel will be so successful…

See our story on ITV Yorkshire presenters Duncan Wood and Christine Talbot for their comments about Made In Leeds.

To watch the video of the entire talk, click here.

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