UK commercial broadcaster ITV has launched pilot broadband television services for Brighton and Hastings to test consumer demand, with a view to extending to other parts of the country.
Broadband will for the first time enable ITV to offer a truly local service. A selection of local interest programmes is provided for on demand viewing, including a local weather forecast. The company is inviting viewers to send in coverage of the own events.
The service will also position ITV in the local classified advertising market for the first time, where it will compete with other media, such as local newspapers.
ITV says that many more community stations will follow if there is sufficient viewer demand following the three month trial.
The technology for the service is being provided by Narrowstep, a company specialising in ‘narrowcast’ delivery over broadband with what it calls a ‘TV Station in a Box’.
The BBC is planning to introduce its own ‘ultra-local’ television services using both broadcast and broadband delivery.