Credit: Courtesy Kapang TV

A new local and hyperlocal TV group is set to launch in the UK this spring.

The ambitious project, Kapang TV, is looking to cover 45 counties which represents 300 to 400 town and cities, and create a dedicated county-based View TV channel for each area.

"The major problem in broadcast today is the quality as satellite capacity can only handle 60 - 70 HD channels," says Jamie Branson, founder and View TV Group chairman, explaining that the demand for 4K and even 8K programmes are on the up as people are buying more big-screen televisions.

Kapang will be delivered through broadband (OTT network), as opposed to transmitters, which will also allow it to use viewers' IP addresses for a bespoke local content and advertising. In addition to a three-minute daily news bulletin and some national coverage, every programme produced locally will be sponsored by a local business and 25 per cent of all programming aims to be hyperlocal.

Further personalisation will see customised ad breaks, offering space for brands wanting to target a specific geographic area, similar to YouTube. Branson confirmed a chunk of sponsored content will have local businesses in mind. Your high street bakery could sponsor a regional cooking show, for example.

Kapang has also launched an online news site Knewsy that provides hyperlocal content, and a radio station Vintage Music Radio, in a bid to become a one-stop-shop for local news.

"We try to solve the problem with local media and have [more] commercial propositions that can live," said Branson. Kapang plans to provide broadband access (VISP) to their customers as well.

View TV, the individual TV channel platform, will launch with format View TV (county), for example, View TV Berkshire. The radio station Vintage Music will follow the same format.

View TV will offer 14 categories, such as sports, entertainment, or international news. The advertisers have already purchased slots for national coverage but the platform still needs to ramp up its ability to sell advertising to local businesses, a model similar to Facebook.

Another problem Branson wants to solve is audience measurement, as the current tool, Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), does not take into account the diversity of media, such as video on demand (VOD), TV catch up services and other dedicated streaming platforms, including Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

BARB monitors 5,000 UK homes and provides an estimate of viewers for each programme based on this sample. However, the tool was created to monitor only a low number of channels and its estimates no longer provide accurate information to advertisers.

Branson said Kapang TV will monitor audience engagement closely and aims to secure at least 10 per cent of TV audiences in each county.

The local media service wants to eventually cover nearly 1,000 UK town and cities with a hyperlocal TV, radio and news site. The group looks to hire up to 1,000 people, including hyperlocal news journalists and editors on a full- and part-time basis.

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