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STV joins Channel 6 TV bid

11 companies bid for new Freeview channel.

STV, the Scottish licensee for ITV, has joined a bid by Channel 6 to set up a new national TV network, as proposed by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Channel 6, which is run by former Trinity Mirror senior executive Richard Horwood, has submitted an interest in running a new Freeview channel forming a base for a network of local TV services.

Two other bidders, SixTelevision and TripleSEE, submitted their interest before the 1 March deadline, meaning 11 companies will now compete for the new network.

STV partnered with Channel 6 as it looks to expand its own local media network.

Whilst STV has expressed an interest in the network, UTV, which holds the ITV licence in Northern Ireland, and ITV itself, will not be competing for the new network.

SixTelevision's bid is led by UKRD, operator of 16 regional radio stations, and has the backing of three other local commercial radio companies; Town & Country, Media South Holdings and Dee 106.5 and Silk 106.9.

TripleSEE has the backing of independent producers Maidthorn Partners, TwoFour and New Media Partners, and is led by former BBC executive Simon Walker.

The company that wins the rights to the network will gain the sixth slot on the Freeview network from 2013.