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Joy's World

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Celebrating Over 20 years on Community TV



Community Television


Community Television
Goes Digital!
1 March 2010
A new era in Community Television has begun with the digital launch of Sydney's increasingly popular free-to-air channel TVS. TVS is the first community station to begin simulcasting and can now be seen on Digital Channel 44.
TVS has faced the challenge of diminishing analogue audiences as households increasingly chose to go digital, according to TVS Chief Executive, Laurie Patton, who is a member of the Federal Government's Digital Switchover Taskforce Industry Advisory Group. "More than half the homes in Sydney have now made the switch, so it was essential that TVS joined the transition to digital".
Mr Patton stressed that the channel saw itself as complementing existing free-to-air television services in Sydney and another example of increasing media diversity. "All these new digital channels mean a much greater range of viewing choices," Mr Patton said. From inception TVS has aimed to provide a platform for new program formats and for program providers with fresh and exciting ideas. "We see TVS as an 'incubator' where creative producers can afford to experiment with new concepts and develop new talent".
After just four years on air more than forty percent of programs screened on TVS are made in Sydney, with another thirty percent coming from interstate Community Television channels. Not-for-profit community groups and individuals who make programs for TVS receive free airtime provided that they meet the station's technical standards, which can be found at www.tvs.org.au/get-involved/for-program-makers.
Community Television stations are permitted to sell up to seven minutes per hour of sponsorship announcements, which like other television channels commonly come in the form of thirty second "TVC's". TVS uses an external sales agency - Stenmark Media Brokers ( www.stenmark.com.au).
Community Television stations in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth are also due to commence digital transmissions in the coming months. This follows a decision late last year by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, to allocate vacant spectrum previously known as Channel A to Community Television stations until the switch to digital-only television in the capital cities in 2013. The Government also allocated funding, totalling $2.6 million, to assist stations to meet the costs of commencing digital transmissions.
"We expect that simulcasting will significantly increase audiences and confirm a permanent place for Community Television in the emerging world of multi-channel free-to-air television," Mr Patton said. "We are committed to local programming and we look forward to hearing from prospective program makers now that we are available on both digital and analogue".