Digital shake-up turns off Six TV

David Stevens was puzzled as to why the service had stopped

David Stevens was puzzled as to why the service had stopped

First published in News by

OXFORD’S own TV channel has stopped broadcasting just two months before its 10th birthday.

Six TV, which began life in 1999 as the Oxford Channel, ended transmissions earlier this month, after running up losses of £75,000 over the past year.

Its owner, Milestone Group, said it decided to shut the station after it failed to secure a guaranteed digital channel to continue broadcasting from 2011, when analogue TV transmissions in Oxfordshire end.

However, Milestone did not announce it had pulled the plug, leaving viewers puzzled as to why they could not watch the station.

It comes as another blow to local TV news coming just two months after ITV scrapped its Thames Valley Tonight news programme in favour of Meridian Tonight, broadcast from Southampton.

Dan Cass, former manager of Six TV and now a consultant for Milestone, said: “We have ceased to provide our analogue service.

“There’s no real benefit to us to being in a diminishing number of homes that are analogue only.

“It didn’t make sense to us to continue to invest, when the platform was no longer going to be there and we had no guarantee of continuing as a digital channel.

“However, we haven’t given up. We have hopes of providing a new service on digital TV or on Freeview but it’s out of our hands.

“We’re in discussions with Ofcom and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and we hope we’re going to be able to launch a digital service in the future.

“I think it’s a great shame. This is an opportunity that has been lost for local people to work in TV.”

About 40 people worked at the studios, in Woodstock Road, in 2004 but when the channel closed just two full-time staff were left.

Viewer David Stevens, 58, of Hazel Road, Botley said: “I’m sorry it’s gone. It was obviously being run on a shoestring in the past couple of years, as they showed the same thing over and over, but it could have been viable. In a place like Oxford there’s so much going on we should be able to fill a channel.”

Mr Stevens, a church warden, at New Road Baptist Church, added: “To suddenly just pull the plug and not to say anything was not the right way to do this.

“We were just left clueless as to what was happening.”

cwalker@oxfordmail.co.uk

Comments (4)

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10:19pm Tue 28 Apr 09

erik256 says...

sadly, local tv cannot survive. the audience numbers are not there, content or no content. its this that funds it. if there is no audience, there will be no advertisers and subsequently, no cash.. this is why local tv stations like this are rare across the country. sad to see it go, tho some of the stuff it showed towards the end was repeated frequently..
sadly, local tv cannot survive. the audience numbers are not there, content or no content. its this that funds it. if there is no audience, there will be no advertisers and subsequently, no cash.. this is why local tv stations like this are rare across the country. sad to see it go, tho some of the stuff it showed towards the end was repeated frequently.. erik256
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Wed 29 Apr 09

adeshere says...

Did anyone actually watch this channel !
Did anyone actually watch this channel ! adeshere
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Wed 29 Apr 09

sam_e says...

This is a perfect example of why the BBC should not be changed.

Local stations and programmes (news etc) off all kinds are always quite likely to be too expensive / not profitable enough to keep running.

I watched 6 sometimes when it was first on, but the poor picture we received meant I didnt watch it often. I guess digital would have sorted that out though! Shame it couldnt make it through.
This is a perfect example of why the BBC should not be changed. Local stations and programmes (news etc) off all kinds are always quite likely to be too expensive / not profitable enough to keep running. I watched 6 sometimes when it was first on, but the poor picture we received meant I didnt watch it often. I guess digital would have sorted that out though! Shame it couldnt make it through. sam_e
  • Score: 0

9:38pm Wed 29 Apr 09

Andrew:Oxford says...

Trouble with Six TV was that it was analogue and the picture was dreadful.

I made the switch to Digital TV way back in 1998 when "OnDigital" started broadcasting - before Six was launched.

To watch "Six" I'd have to faff about switching from Digital back to Analogue. Too much hassle. to watch snowy Sky News
Trouble with Six TV was that it was analogue and the picture was dreadful. I made the switch to Digital TV way back in 1998 when "OnDigital" started broadcasting - before Six was launched. To watch "Six" I'd have to faff about switching from Digital back to Analogue. Too much hassle. to watch snowy Sky News Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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