Published Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Harland and Wolff cranes overlook Belfast, where a new TV service will be set up (© Pacemaker)
Made in Belfast and NvTv have both applied for a channel, which would be aired on Freeview, after broadcasting watchdog Ofcom was given powers by Parliament to licence new local TV services.
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced last year that Belfast is among the 20 initial locations that have the potential run local TV, with final decisions on successful applicants made this autumn.
Mr Hunt said the channels would provide a new way for people to get information about their local communities.
"There's a huge appetite for local news and information in communities the length and breadth of the country," he explained last year.
It is understood that infrastructure for the local channels could cost £25m, which is expected to be financed by the BBC licence fee, and a further £5m of licence fee money would be spent on content each year for the initial three years.
Further licences could be advertised in Londonderry and Limavady - to include parts of Ballymoney and Coleraine.