Community TV station TVS goes off-air but aims to relaunch with video on demand service

TVSSydney community TV station Television station Sydney (TVS) has ceased broadcasting as of yesterday but says it is actively looking at potential video on demand (VOD) platforms to continue the service.

Earlier this year then Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the end of access to broadcast spectrum for community television, arguing in the digital era the stations should be broadcasting online rather than on terrestrial television, giving all stations until December 31 on air.

The government later offered an extension to the cut off date, but Rachel Bentley CEO of TVS yesterday wrote in a note to supporters that it could only continue broadcasting if it also launched a VOD platform by the cut off date. 

“After extensive discussions with Government and other CTV stations, the board of TVS has decided to focus our resources on the best possible outcome for TVS and the distribution of community content,” wrote Bentley.

“We are developing plans for the establishment of a robust Video on Demand (VOD) platform and an alternative mode of business operations for TVS.”

Other community TV stations in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, which are broadcast on Channel 31, are understood to be continuing into the new year with both a terrestrial and VOD offering.

Bentley said it would aim to relaunch the station, which is funded by Western Sydney University and the soon to be defunct Metroscreen and is seen as a valuable training ground for people wanting a career in TV, in the new year.

“We are working on refocusing our programming strategy and developing a strong digital infrastructure to deliver a functional platform for the future era of community content dissemination,” Bentley said.

“To do this effectively TVS will cease free to air broadcasting on the 20th December 2015 so that we can efficiently continue to finalise our online plans further and relaunch in 2016.”

Nic Christensen


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