The Wide Bay local AFL footy show is a step closer this week with the set built and pre lit. The question is who will be hosting? While this is being worked out its an exciting time for AFL in the Wide Bay, never before has regional TV streaming or otherwise had its own dedicated football show and with a live audience.

2022 marks the beginning of a new challenge in regional Australian media.

The pandemic of the past few years has given the world a shake up and the chance for businesses to step back and take a long hard look at the way businesses have been operating and how it could be better. This became evident with people forced to work from home if they could, it also forced business owners and employers to think about how their business could either survive or die and how returning to the office could look when this is all over. It gave time to grow some new ideas on how things could be different, it gave a chance for a hard reset.

One little media startup has its own take on how things can be different and better for regional communities across Australia.

With the demise of the local newspaper and dwindling TV ratings of the major free to air broadcasters, the cable cutting to Foxtel and the incredible increase in on demand viewing, it was time to re-birth regional television and locally made programs all be it via on-line delivery.

All these things led to the creation of widebayitv.com, yes its another streaming platform, the model isn’t new but it’s certainly either a bold move or a completely dumb idea for its creator and sole financier.

The concept is simple and in its own way winding Queensland regional media back to pre 1990 as this was the date that singled the end of locally produced television content. Aggregation as it was called is a system put into place by the then Hawke Labor government in an effort to share the major capital city broadcasts to regional Australia.

In 1990 it was Queensland’s turn. This resulted in the big city stations relaying their programs into the regions on the local channel. It effectively killed local programs as there were no longer any available time slots for local programs. All regional stations were taken over by ether channels 7,9 or 10. This was the death of local content other than a half hour local news bulletin and advertisers.

2022 marks the re introduction of local programs to the Bundaberg region. Time will tell if the community take to seeing their own faces, voices, sporting and special events once again, or is it too late? Are there too many other distractions today.

TV show hosts wanted

We have several new TV programs now needing volunteer hosts to present the shows to our audience. THE WINGE is a weekly half hour looking at local social media sites and discussing the winge factor among the comments. Are they a legitimate complaint or just a winge. We are looking for a brave person who is not afraid to say what they think and discuss this with other panel members. Message us on our facebook page if you would like to apply for this role. https://www.facebook.com/widebayitv

Studio productions have special requirements like sound proofing, air conditioning, a rig to hang lights from and power to run them. There are lots of requirements but its extremely rare to locate one in any regional centre that’s sitting vacant, let alone in Bundaberg, but that’s exactly what we did find at the rear of the old channel 7 studio in Quay street. The studio is in perfect condition and is set to go back into production making a range of local shows for Wide Bay ITV.

Shows that are planned include an Agri panel show, a light entertainment program called In Bundy Tonight. A fishing show, Wide Bay Business, Friday night flicks and many more to come.

The Wide Bay – Burnett region is getting a new local tv service to be delivered on-line and based in Bundaberg says Executive producer Phillip Harris.

With local long form content on the regions screens long gone and leaving a huge gap to fill, it was time to start our very own TV station. We will be making some high quality local shows and encourage the community to get filming as we also want some community made shows. 

Since regional TV aggregation in Queensland in 1990, there has been a slow but steady decline in local content as the big city stations took over the airwaves. This month (May 2021) WIN and Nine have announced further cuts in regional news across Victoria and Queensland stating that a state news bulletin will replace local news. 

Even 7 Local news has declined in a cost cutting effort by the 7 Network with the sale of the Bundaberg Quay street studio and major staff cuts. WIN and Ten have also cut back in the region with even more cuts to come.

We are all watching programs on Youtube, Netfix, SBS on-demand, ABC iView etc. WideBayITV is no exception with the biggest difference being locally made content mixed with other high quality Australian made shows.

Stay tuned, lots more to come.