NITV commenced operation in July last year, initially broadcasting via the Optus Aurora satellite and re-transmitted through the facilities of Imparja Television in remote areas. The channel is also available via Foxtel, Optus, Austar, Neighbourhood Cable and TransACT pay-TV platforms and even via the in-house television system at Parliament House in Canberra. The expansion to Digital 44 marks the broadcaster’s first free-to-air transmission in a capital city, adding to the 150 transmission sites already in operation in remote and regional communities.
As the name implies, NITV provides programming made by, and aimed at, Australia’s indigenous communities, including children’s programs, documentaries, drama, music, entertainment, news and current affairs.
Earlier this year NITV’s sports program, Marngrook Footy Show, won Best Sports Program at the Antenna Awards in Melbourne, and NITV and SBS were broadcast partners for the Deadly Awards held at the Sydney Opera House earlier this month. NITV was also a sponsor at this year’s St Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne.
NITV has also joined with international broadcasters including Maori Television New Zealand, S4C Wales, SABC South Africa, BBC Scotland, APTN Canada, Taiwan Indigenous Network, TG4 Ireland and Australia’s SBS, to form the World Indigenous Broadcast Network, giving NITV programs the potential to be given a global audience.
Digital 44 is a datacasting service operating on an extended trial basis in Sydney. The service is not allowed to provide mainstream television but carries a number of niche or narrowcast channels including Expo Channel, Australian Christian Channel, news and weather reports (ABC), parliamentary broadcasts and NSW government information.