Cape Town TV goes global via satellite

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Even though community station Cape Town TV (CTV) starts broadcasting on a satellite channel this month to woo a global audience and advertising, it would not be “selling out”.

Station director Karen Thorne said the channel would broadcast from October 10 on DSTV’s channel 263. It would also retain its two free-to-air channels accessible via any TV screen in Cape Town.

“The satellite channel doesn’t cost us anything. DSTV offered to carry us for free. It’s a one-year contract,” said Thorne.

“There are already other community TV stations on DSTV. It’s been a game changer for them. Media planners and people with money watch DSTV. It’s going to be a boost for CTV because we can source revenue.”

She added: “We’re will still be a Cape Town channel. We won’t be a commercial channel. We’re not selling out.”

Thorne said CTV needed to drastically increase its advertising revenue.

“We need to derive at least 50% advertising. At the moment it’s 20% and the rest of our income is from donors. We hope to do this via the satellite channel,” she said.

CTV statistics reveal that it has 400,000 viewers in Cape Town. The channel this celebrated its fifth birthday with a party at City Hall in central Cape Town on Tuesday night. It also announced its satellite channel’s plans.

CTV board chairperson Martin Jansen said advertising revenue has to date been low. He urged: “The state should subsidise community broadcasting.”

CTV’s broadcast manager Mike Alridge said the station needed funds to also continue its community training programmes. He said CTV “annually trains 120 persons in TV production”.

“Trainees start off in the TV studio where they learn basic camera studio work. Then they get involved in basic field production. They could go out into the field and make inserts for the station’s shows,” said Alridge.

“That gives them the skills to get work with other production companies.”

He added: “Apart from that, we also have the open studio show where people can present their own talk shows. There are also internships where we place persons in different departments, such as marketing, news and broadcasting.”

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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