Niche Radio Network goes live nationally

A nationwide narrowcast radio network with ambitions to be the largest independent multi-programmed network in Australia began broadcasting last night.

The Niche Radio Network began broadcasting test programs of its Vietnamese show to 31 stations last night.

The network, which was announced in December, has a full program of shows catering to a variety of multicultural, non-English language communities.

Julius Larobina, project manager at the network told Mumbrella: “The people involved in the first broadcast that has gone to air were formerly the program managers for the Vietnemese program on SBS. They moved across to provide a show more in tune with what the community wanted and needed. When you’re broadcasting with a government broadcaster there is a lot of red tape.”

In the beginning, Larobina said the network will broadcast in Italian from midnight to 2pm daily, with other languages having just one or two hour-long shows. The company which also owns the Italian Media Corporation, printing Melbourne and Sydney’s Italian papers Il’Globo and La’Fiamma respectively, has been broadcasting Italian shows for 15 years.

Larobina said an Indigenous show was expected by January.

Advertising will be generated through traditional spots and live reads with both advertising and content able to be split by location.

Each content provider are experienced media producers in their communities, with NRN facilitating production of shows where necessary, while others may be re-edited from a local show to a national show.

Larobina said branded content would follow. He is currently working with two groups on creating genre-specific shows.

With only 31 of the full 55 channels on the current network of channels, Larobina said he saw the current network as phase one, with the opportunity of using the other 24 channels in phase two.

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