Community TV offered broadcast extension

c31_20yearsThe community television sector has received an offer by the former Minister for Communications, now Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull to have its broadcast licences extended by a further 12 months.

The sector, comprising channels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, was told twelve months ago that it would have its broadcast licences revoked from 31 December 2015.

In an article posted on the C31 Melbourne website, station general manager Richard McLelland said that C31’s Board of Directors “is currently considering the offer and its conditions and will formally respond at the appropriate time”.

In the meantime, C31 continues to work with technology partners in delivering content online as its future business model.

C31 and its Sydney, Brisbane and Perth counterparts are already operating live streams through their respective websites.

Source: C31


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  1. While I was against the loss of Channel 31 from free to air tv, it is quite clear that the way of future is internet supplied tv. It is in its infancy and not a great experience yet, as I am sure you know, but it will come into its own.

    1. Exactly, I think there will be a time when online is the way to go. Problem is the broadcasters are not there yet, the internet infrastructure (e.g. NBN) certainly isn’t, and neither is much of the marketplace. Until then I think free-to-air access is imperative.

    • Neil Forbes on 18 September 2015 at 1:05 AM
    • Reply

    There should be room for both! Use the online method by all means(as it develops) but always maintain FTA Ch.31 as the “ace in the hole” and remember that not all viewers, or potential viewers are computer-savvy.

    • Peter on 18 September 2015 at 9:14 AM
    • Reply

    I thought Abbott and co were desperate to get rid of 31 so they could sell the frequency – looks like a new broom sweeps clean.
    As an antenna installer for the past 28 years we had gone back to ising VHF antennas as we were told there would be no UHF on the main transmitter site on Mount Dandenong but obviously we will have to use combination antennas to provide customers with the UHF31 service. The VHF only antennas we use still pick up enough ingress from C31`s frequency to make a stable signal though)
    Wish they would make their mind up.

    1. I suspect this offer only postpones the removal from the airwaves, not stops it altogether.

    • Neil Forbes on 18 September 2015 at 11:26 PM
    • Reply

    Abbott & co were keen to get rid of community TV off FTA channels because…. They couldn’t control independent and critical thoughts of the stations’ operators. Turnbull, the new PM(as of last Monday) was keen also as he was (seemingly) answering to his “boss”, Rupert Murdoch, helping to get rid of any opposition to Murdoch’s goal of ultimate world-wide media domination!

    • Andrew M on 19 September 2015 at 3:35 PM
    • Reply

    I think it should stay as a online feature it be cheaper to run

    1. Yes it may be cheaper but it reduces their audience coverage. A lot. And that in turn effects their ability to gain sponsorships which is what makes them sustainable.

    • Neil Forbes on 21 September 2015 at 3:56 PM
    • Reply

    I agree with Andrew B. on this one. And the fight was about retaining the FTA channel in the first place. Upon Malcolm Turnbull becoming PM a week ago, he named his replacement yesterday(Sunday, 20/9/2015) in his cabinet reshuffle, the new minister is Mitch Fifield. Operators of CTV stations should lobby him strongly in order to protect their access to FTA Ch.31.

    • Frank on 26 November 2017 at 4:35 AM
    • Reply

    This is really sad as Internet access requires people to be earning money
    there are many people out there that enjoy Community Radio and don’t have the means to keep a reasonable Internet provider on board

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