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Big Centre TV set to go live in Black Country

Dudley | News | Published:

The new digital television channel serving the Black Country will go live in a week's time.

Big Centre TV, based in Walsall, will begin broadcasting on channel eight on Freeview at 6pm on Saturday, February 28.

The channel is co-owned by former ATV presenter Mike Prince and Wolverhampton-born Chris Perry.

It will also cover Birmingham and Solihull and will see former Central TV sports broadcaster Bob Hall as its head of news and sport.

It is broadcasting from Walsall Studio School at the Goldmine Centre in Lower Hall Lane and will air seven days a week with programmes also available online.

The new channel, which will be available to around 1.2 million homes, is already running test transmissions showing what it will offer and has a website at www.bigcentre.tv

Freeview viewers may need to re-tune their Freeview TVs, boxes or recorders if they wish to watch Big Centre TV.

Ofcom's broadcast licensing committee awarded the local TV licence to Kaleidoscope TV, the holding company for Big Centre TV, following the collapse of City TV last year. The media regulator has given the license on condition it launches the new digital service on Freeview before the end of February.

The commitments include an initial 41 hours of local programmes a week, including a 90-minute breakfast show, news at noon and a half-hour programme of news at 6pm and 10pm. IT also plans to show 40 hours of repeats.

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Mr Perry, who also runs the Kaleidoscope heritage television organisation which is based in Stourbridge, has said the aim is to provide local content for all the towns in the area.

Mr Perry, who used to live in Pedmore, started Kaleidoscope 26 years ago and runs TV conventions in Stourbridge and has a team of volunteers who hunt down missing or lost vintage TV programmes.

It has also made television programmes as well since 2006 including projects for the British Film Institute.

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