Birmingham TV firm enters administration

<p>Birmingham’s City TV has gone into administration before a single show.</p>

A Birmingham-based television company has entered administration despite never broadcasting a single programme.

City TV secured a licence in 2012 to provide local digital television programmes which would serve 1.2 million households across Birmingham. However, it has been plagued with technical and financial difficulties since its creation and has not been able to secure a studio premises, equipment or sufficient funds. It meant that it was set to miss its broadcasting deadline of November leading to the administrators being called in.

The firm was among of host of television firms that won a licence from Ofcom to broadcast local digital programmes but City TV, also known as BLTV, was not able to fulfil its ambitions. Administrator Duff & Phelps stated that the company would now work with Ofcom to transfer the licence and return funds to creditors.

Matt Ingram, joint administrator, said: "BLTV  was awarded the licence for Birmingham local television following a lengthy competitive process, overseen by Ofcom.

"Unfortunately, it would appear that despite having demonstrated a comprehensive programming proposal, the company was unable to secure the necessary funding to get the project off the ground, having been awarded the licence."

The scheme ran by Ofcom saw 57 bidders compete for 19 licences. Companies in Brighton and Grimsby were granted the first of the contracts in September 2012 with this being extended to the Midlands later in the year. As part of the agreement, the BBC agreed to contribute up to £25 million for a successful bidder to build the network.

City TV, backed by BMB Agency founder Trevor Beattie, was able to beat off competition from rivals YourTV Birmingham. At the time, chief executive Debra Davis explained the company was "ecstatic" to win the licence and spoke of its commitment to showcasing Birmingham-based stars to a Birmingham audience.

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