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.

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