Birmingham TV

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Birmingham TV
Launched28 February 2015
Owned byMade Television
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaBirmingham, the Black Country, Wolverhampton, Solihull
HeadquartersGas Street Basin, Birmingham
Formerly calledMade in Birmingham
Sister channel(s)Bristol TV
Cardiff TV
Leeds TV
Liverpool TV
North Wales TV
Teesside TV
Tyne & Wear TV
Website[1]
Availability
Terrestrial
FreeviewChannel 7
Satellite
SkyChannel 117
Cable
Virgin MediaChannel 159

Birmingham TV (formerly Made in Birmingham) is a local television station, serving Birmingham, the Black Country, Wolverhampton and Solihull in the West Midlands of England. The station is owned and operated by Local Television Limited and forms part of a group of eight local TV stations. Its offices are based near the Gas Street Basin in Birmingham city centre.

History[edit]

Big Centre TV[edit]

Kaleidoscope TV Limited was granted a licence to establish a local television station in November 2014, following the collapse of City8, a proposed station centred on the Birmingham area, which went into administration after failing to secure sufficient funding.[1][2] Kaleidoscope was given 10 minutes' notice that its bid had been successful before an official announcement was made by the regulatory body Ofcom.[3]

The new licence, initially known as Kaleidoscope TV, was given an Ofcom deadline of Saturday 28 February 2015 to launch Kaleidoscope TV to bring local television to Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull from 2015, Initially, Big Centre TV was jointly launched by Chris Perry and former ATV announcer and television executive Mike Prince, the station's director of programming. Prince also served as the station's chairman.

Big Centre TV's studios and offices were based at the Goldmine Centre in Walsall, located alongside the town's studio school, where students were able to gain work experience with the channel as part of their studies.[4]

The station launched at 6 pm on Saturday 28 February 2015, preceded by a testcard and music, ending with the Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky". Opening night programming included an hour-long introduction to the channel, a special edition of the local news programme The Midland, a 1981 episode of Crossroads, and coverage of an ice hockey league match. These were aired alongside two of the station's feature programmes, Life Stories and Project M.

The first news bulletin attracted criticism from Birmingham Mail TV critic Roz Laws, who noted that many of the reports concerned stories from several days before the channel's launch.[3] The news bulletin was also beset by technical problems, with poor sound quality and an out-of-focus studio camera. The Black Country-based Express & Star observed that the launch programme had been "more corporate video than glitz and glamour" consisting of the channel's executives "sitting in front of their computers and discussing a business plan before the station was blessed by a clergyman".[5] Responding to the criticism, then-channel director Chris Perry argued that Big Centre TV's teething problems were similar to those experienced by the larger channels, and urged viewers to stay with the station.[5]

In April 2015, the station announced that Canadian media company Trek 2000 had invested in Big Centre TV.[6] The station later opened a satellite studio at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham for sports coverage.

Made in Birmingham[edit]

On 3 October 2016, Made Television, which was unsuccessful in bidding to run the franchise in 2012, announced it had bought Big Centre for an undisclosed sum, subject to approval from Ofcom.[7]

Big Centre TV ceased broadcasting at midnight on Friday 4 November 2016 and reopened and relaunched as Made in Birmingham at 6 pm on Tuesday 8 November 2016.[8] The channel began broadcasting on Sky and digital satellite platforms in January 2017.

On Thursday 25 May 2017, Made in Birmingham and its sister channels began carrying acquired programming from the UK and Ireland version of factual entertainment channel TruTV as part of a supply agreement with Sony Pictures Television. The station simulcasts TruTV in two daily blocks from 1 pm to 5 pm and from 9 pm to 1 am (8 pm – midnight on Tuesdays to accommodate America's Got Talent).[9][10] As of November 2017, the Made network simulcasts CBS Reality for eleven hours a day.

In July 2017, the channel moved from its Walsall Studio School base to new studios and offices on Bridge Street, beside the Gas Street Basin in Birmingham, situated close to those of ITV Central on Gas Street itself and BBC Birmingham at The Mailbox.

In November 2017, following a restructuring of the Made network's operations,[11] local output was cut and around ten staff were reportedly made redundant. Production of the station's local news programme was temporarily transferred to Leeds before it was axed in February 2018.

On 2 January 2018, Made in Birmingham ceased broadcasting on digital satellite and was replaced by a generic Made Television networked feed featuring a daily three-hour block of local news programming for six of the network's licence areas, including Birmingham.[12]

On 19 August 2018, Made in Birmingham rebranded its social media pages as Birmingham TV and changed its website address.

Programming[edit]

Birmingham TV is required to broadcast 35 hours a week of first-run local programming.[13][14]

As of February 2018, the station's sole local programme is West Midlands Live, a rolling four-hour block of pre-recorded local news, sport and features airing each weeknight from 5-9pm. A half-hour block also airs on the generic Made Television networked feed on digital satellite each weekday evening.[15]

Programmes produced by the other Made TV stations also air on the channel along with acquired programming from independent producers and other broadcasters around the UK, including the thrice-daily programming blocks from CBS Reality – airing from 9 to 11 am, 1 to 5 pm and 9 pm to 2 am.

Archive programming[edit]

During its first six months on air, Big Centre TV aired a selection of archive programming, including the children's television series Ivor the Engine and Terrahawks, Jack Hargreaves' rural documentary series Out of Town, and the surviving episodes of Midlands-based soap opera Crossroads.[16][17] The station also produced a number of nostalgia-based entertainment shows including The David Hamilton Show, The Ads Show, Crossroads Check-In, Tiswas Pies Again and The Long Lost Shows Show.

As the channel went on air, plans to repeat Crossroads were at the centre of a disagreement over the amount of royalties to be paid to its former actors – Paul Henry (who played Benny Hawkins) reportedly threatened to take legal action over the issue.[18] The station discontinued Crossroads repeats in September 2015 and latterly phased out its Kaleidoscope-related archive output and nostalgia programming.

Big Centre TV continued to air archive programming from other sources until it ceased broadcasting in November 2016. As with the other Made TV channels, it now broadcasts a selection of acquired output, including Channel 4 lifestyle programming and documentaries.

References[edit]

Notes
Sources
  1. ^ "Birmingham local TV firm City TV in administration". BBC News. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Kaleidoscope – the men who found our 'lost' TV archives". BBC News. BBC. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b Laws, Roz (28 February 2015). "Big Centre TV: Rushed, repetitive and not exactly gripping". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  4. ^ Walsall Studio School – Big Centre TV
  5. ^ a b "New West Midlands TV channel experiencing 'learning curve', argues boss". Express & Star. Midland News Association. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  6. ^ Knight, Dominic (29 April 2015). "International investment for West Midlands TV channel Big Centre TV". ATV Today. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  7. ^ Big Centre TV acquired by rival network 18 months after launch, Birmingham Mail, 4 October 2016
  8. ^ Made TV network acquires eighth TV station, Made Television, 3 October 2016
  9. ^ Made Television reveals all-new summer line up, Made Television, 25 May 2017
  10. ^ TruTV on Made, Made Television, 25 May 2017
  11. ^ Jobs to be axed at Made in Birmingham TV station, Birmingham Post, 26 October 2017
  12. ^ Made TV splits Sky and Freeview local TV feeds, a516digital.com, 4 January 2018
  13. ^ Ofcom allows five local TV stations to cut local programming commitments, Press Gazette, 13 April 2016
  14. ^ Ofcom eases local TV programme commitments on two stations, a516digital, 20 April 2017
  15. ^ Made TV splits Sky and Freeview local TV feeds, a516digital.com, 4 January 2018
  16. ^ "Birmingham local channel Big Centre TV launches". BBC News. BBC. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  17. ^ Cannon, Matt (15 February 2015). "Big Centre TV: See the shows viewers can expect from new Birmingham TV channel". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  18. ^ Lockley, Mike (28 February 2015). "Big Centre TV launch marred by Crossroads repeats row with stars, including Benny actor Paul Henry". The Sunday Mercury. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 1 March 2015.

External links[edit]