End of an era for Mustard TV as Archant sells channel to That's TV Group
PUBLISHED: 13:32 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:50 30 August 2017
Norwich's Mustard TV is preparing its final broadcasts as Archant gets set to sell it to the That's TV Group.
The local television channel has been on air since March 2014 after being granted a licence by Ofcom in 2012.
Archant, publisher of the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, is now in advanced talks to sell Mustard TV Ltd to That’s TV, in exchange for a stake in That’s.
That’s TV is a privately-owned local television business with a network that currently operates twelve Local TV franchises in Basingstoke, Guildford, Lancashire, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Thames Valley, York, Carlisle, Scarborough, Salisbury and the Solent area.
Archant chief executive Jeff Henry has consistently commented on the difficulties of running a single local TV franchise – the audience reach is restricted by the licence it operates under, which in turn holds back revenue opportunities, but with limited opportunity to leverage production and running costs. As a result the station has been loss-making since launch.
He said: “Archant is delighted to be continuing our local TV journey as a shareholder in a multi-franchise operation. We have consistently said that the success of local TV will come from consolidation and are excited to be a minority shareholder in a company with a significantly larger portfolio of local licences.”
The sale is expected to be completed in the coming days. The station will rebrand as “That’s Norfolk” and will continue to broadcast from its existing studios.
Mustard’s final programmes – including a special hour-long Mustard Show – will broadcast tomorrow from 6pm. The channel is then expected to enter a new era under That’s TV next month.
Dan Cass, CEO of That’s TV, said: “We are very excited about expanding our presence into Norfolk. We are thrilled that Archant has chosen for it to join the That’s network. We see this as an important next step in consolidating the UK’s local TV market.”