From a caravan in Sharrow to an FM radio station, to digital TV – community broadcaster Sheffield Live makes history today when it goes on air as the city’s first television channel.
But the city gets its own TV channel when the switch is flicked and Charlotte Reid becomes the first face and voice the public see on SLTV at 6.30pm.
Not that everyone in Sheffield will get to see her.
Sheffield Live! TV, or SLTV as it will be known, will only be available at first on TV sets through Freeview Channel 8 in the Crosspool transmitter area and Virgin Cable, throughout Sheffield.
That’s still a potential audience of over 450,000 people, with plans to add another Freeview transmitter, at Grenoside, says Jamie Veitch, SLTV’s commercial manager, It will also be available from today online at www.sheffieldlive.org – so, technically, broadcasting to the world.
And head of news Charlotte will make the news herself with a welcome to the station and its first flagship daily news programme.
VIDEO: Press the play button to see the official Sheffield Live TV showreel, giving a sneak peak at the type of programmes it will be broadcasting.
SLTV knows it has a mountain to climb if it is to work and survive. Birmingham’s City TV went into administration last month, without having broadcast any programmes.
Sheffield Live is one of several around the UK awarded a licence to provide local digital television programmes.
It all in started in Sheffield when a group of Sharrow community activists made a radio broadcast of a four-day festival from a field in 2000.
Sharrow Live – as the radio transmission was known – became Sheffield Live! 93.2FM – a community radio station, and secured a full – time licence to broadcast on FM radio from October 2007.
In the seven years since Sheffield Live! has built up an eclectic and diverse schedule of radio programming featuring passionate, knowledgeable presenters, and a loyal audience of around 40,000 listeners per week.
Shows, presented by volunteers, cover local music scenes and genres including rock, folk, garage, 50s classics, ska, reggae and more. Other radio programming includes comedy, business news and interviews, film reviews, arts discussion, and topical Communities Live show.
So what’s local TV all about?
SLTV is locally owned and run for community benefit.
It comes in the first wave of local stations launching this year across the UK, in cities including Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Belfast, Bristol and Oxford.
Sheffield’s unique geography means the city, and the local channel, have had to wait for Ofcom’s appointed infrastructure provider to build the technology necessary to enable Sheffielders to tune in. But the city was nearly not included in the Government’s first wave of places to get a local TV licence.
The new local TV service is set to broadcast Sheffield news, music, sport, culture and much more.
Steve Buckley, chair of SLTV, says: “When Ofcom, the Government’s media regulator, initially advertised the opportunities to bid for local TV licences in 19 cities in 2012, Sheffield wasn’t even on the list of the first areas.
“So a number of local social enterprises, businesses, education organisations, and individuals, along with the national Community Media Association, based in Sheffield, and supported by local MPs, lobbied hard for Sheffield to get its own local TV channel in this first wave.
“Once Ofcom accepted Sheffield should have a local licence, three companies bid for the right to operate it. SLTV – a locally owned organisation – secured the licence.
“We know that Sheffielders want more local news, and programming about our city’s exciting music scene, local sport, our heritage and events to watch on TV.
“Sheffield Live TV will deliver this. And uniquely compared with other local TV channels Sheffield Live TV is community owned – it’s part of a society setup for community benefit which earlier this year raised over £165,000 of investment through a community share issue in which ordinary Sheffielders became part owners of their local media.
“Sheffield Live Television will reflect the interests of Sheffield people and communities – and provide a platform for local talent and opportunities for local businesses.”
Sangita Basudev, director of programming at Sheffield Live, says a flagship daily news programme and discussion show early evening will be followed from 8pm to midnight with new, original productions, including sport, comedy, music, and more, from independent local producers.
There will also be video streaming of shows from its existing community radio station. Sheffielders are also being invited to bring their ideas to the station.
Sangita adds: “We’ll launch with an exciting and varied schedule of programming which we’ll be developing and adding to on an ongoing basis, so if there’s something you want to see on SLTV you can send us your ideas.”
* The The Star, which works closely with all other multi-media outlets, is the biggest provider of local news and sport in South Yorkshire, bringing more than 100 news, sport and feature items a day in paper and online, producing dozens of video news, sport and enterainment clips every week online.
So what’s going to be on Sheffield Live TV?
Sangita Basudev, director of programming, says: “The channel will operate on a public access model, providing a platform for local talent – Made in Sheffield, Made by you.
“Programmes will cover Sheffield’s rich, varied, and diverse music, events, culture, arts, and sports. There’s also a flagship daily news programme.
Here are some of the weekly scheduled highlights
6pm (weekday): What’s On Sheffield – a magazine-based events round-up with video clips and guests, looking at film, music, theatre and clubs.
6.30pm (daily): Sheffield Live! A 30 minute programme of news headlines and interviews.
7pm to 8pm (weekdays): Talking Sheffield, a news, culture, sports and community affairs show, repeated at 9am the next day – with presenters including Max Munday, Alan Biggs, Jawwad Janjua and Brigidin Crowther.
7pm to 8pm (Saturday and Sunday): Sport on Saturday and on Sunday – dedicated sports news and coverage.
8pm to 8.30pm (Wednesdays, repeated Thursdays, 10am and 4pm): Nice Out Innit? Dave Hodgson visits places of interest for a good day out in the region,
8pm to 8.30pm (Thursdays, repeated Fridays, 10am and 4pm): Grassroots, a community gardening show that aims to inspire people to get the best from their garden.
8pm to 8.30pm (Saturdays): Cool Beans – a melting pot of comedy sketches, special guests and good times, presented by legendary local DJ and promoter Chris Arnold and team.
8.30pm (Mondays, repeated Tuesday daytime): Chips – UTC students Bradley, Ed, Oliver and Conor discuss the latest on the tech scene.
9pm to 11pm (Tuesdays): Urban Expression – the best in hip hop underground from Jose Spinola and Phil Robinson.
9pm to 9.30pm (Saturdays): Peak Signal 2 Noise – Sheffield underground, cutting-edge experimental music and arts, avant-garde approaches that challenge the status quo. It plans to give back a voice to the true alternatives in Sheffield, enabling the scene to articulate itself effectively alongside the already well-heard musical mainstream.