Bay TV’s four month appraisal: SevenStreets’ verdict
We were cautiously optimistic when Bay TV won the license for Liverpool’s own telly channel. Previously an online channel, they’d built up a steady stream of watchable uploads, and proven they actually cared about what was going on in the city. With a huge cull in local content by ITV and the BBC, it was up to whoever snapped up this license (their closest rival was Phil Redmond’s Our-TV) to fill a much-needed gap. The Broadcast Licensing committee thought Bay TV was the strongest proposition, saying they had “the greatest understanding of the needs of the local area”. But has it lived up to its promise since its launch in December?
Actually, yes. We’ve been keeping an eye on the station over the past few months and, after a shaky start (as in, our TV couldn’t even find the bloody channel), it’s doing a really great job in its own way.
One thing we quickly noticed is that Bay TV’s pace is rather interesting. In an age when viewing a three minute YouTube video is seen as a heavy commitment, and the mainstream channels are constantly jostling for your attention with bright colours and loud noises – Bay TV can afford the space to give fifteen minutes to an open mic songwriter, a lesser-known community project, or the lovely Liam Fogerty chatting to a charity fundraiser. It’s an altogether slower proposition than anything else on Freeview and, weirdly, it really does holds your attention.
Bay’s arts coverage is better than we’d have hoped and takes up the majority of BayTV’s schedule – music is woven heavily into their programming, and one of the first things we stumbled across was ArtsAlive: Acoustic, a half-hour show giving unsigned songwriters and performers a couple of songs to show what they can do. These are artists most would probably talk over at the back of the Zanzibar, but given an entirely new and larger platform on Bay.