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Government calls for Virgin Media to support local TV

Friday, August 26th 2011 by Nigel Adie
Virgin Media in talks to feature local services on internet TV

The government is seeking to persuade Virgin Media to promote and support local TV via internet-enabled television platforms.

The government is calling for Virgin Media to use its internet-enabled television platforms to give greater exposure to local TV services.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt outlined his plans to secure "standard, prominent home-screen positioning" for a local TV application on Virgin TiVo, during a roadshow to promote the issue in Birmingham last week, reports Broadcast.

According to the minister, discussions over the move are progressing well, while Sky has also confirmed that it will be adding a local TV menu accessible via the front page of the Sky HD electronic programme guide (EPG).

As yet, Mr Hunt has not secured a guaranteed EPG position for local TV on digital terrestrial television and is focusing on internet TV services such as Virgin TiVo and the soon-to-be-launched YouView.

Plans are also being considered to secure channel eight - which is not in use in England and Northern Ireland - for local TV, with corresponding changes to the Communications Act to be made.

Earlier this month, Ofcom identified 65 towns and cities across the UK to lead the national rollout of local digital TV broadcasting.

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