The Wide Bay region is getting a new community TV service to be delivered on-line 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 the community took the bull by the horns so to speak and start it’s very own community TV station all be it on-line. The federal government are no longer issuing terrestrial broadcast licenses to community TV, in fact its exactly the opposite with the remaining community TV stations C31 in Melbourne and C44 in Adelaide well advanced in the move to on-line delivery after the feds gave notice some time ago that community TV licenses will be scrapped in 2021.
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.
At one time every state in Australia had a community TV station, now only Melbourne and Adelaide survive due to the federal governments axing of broadcast licenses. The move to on-line delivery of programs is real and the community at large are to blame. How and why is this so? Netfix, Amazon, Apple TV and other subscription services have taken viewers away from free to air TV and with it the advertising dollars needed to prop up the commercial stations.
The latest figures state that 83% of all advertising revenue is now spent on-line in places like Facebook and Google advertising.
In Bundaberg the local paper, the News Mail is no longer printed and has moved to a subscription based on-line only model.
It seems the only way now to have any local content is for the community to make it themselves.