New Community TV channel finds Online Broadcasting more Viable

In the telecommunications and media business there is more competition, more innovation, more disruptive dynamic change than ever before. 

 

Lenz TV Logo
Image Courtesy Lenz TV

Community TV channels in South Africa are battling a persistent existential crisis and they want the broadcasting regulator ICASA to create and introduce fixed formal rules to ensure that MultiChoice will support and give money to community TV stations carried on its pay-TV platform. 

In May 2018, Cape Town TV (CTV) in a submission to the broadcasting regulator, revealed the degree to which community TV stations have all become dependent for their live blood on feeding off of MultiChoice SA for its financial survival, including channel carriage for ratings and infrastructure support. 

The irony is this: While community TV stations are supposed to broadcast to their communities in cities and provinces, the majority audience share of community TV stations is held on DStv, a paid subscription service usually found in upper middle class homes. 

It means that a majority of South Africans are forced to watch community TV channels via paid satellite TV services, instead of being able to access these community TV channels via the public broadcaster. 

Lenz TV believes that the best long- term outcome for community television is that it uses the Internet as its distribution platform. The internet is not new. It is the universal uber-platform to which most people in South Africa and globally are connected 24/7. 

Around the world, many existing Community TV stations have switched to online and mobile formats, migrating away from the Digital Satellite platform. Melbourne community station Channel 31 launched a mobile streaming video app as Australia's community television broadcasters prepared to retire from the airwaves. 

Current stats show ever growing percentage of American households have "cut the cord" and now go online for the TV and media viewing needs. Cable TV and satellite are on the decline subscription wise. People are changing the way they consume television. If you are not streaming online you are losing out on the global TV market. 

We have no doubt that this transition is in the best interests of community television. It will deliver wider audiences, at less cost on a wider range of devices and the ability to do more than linear broadcasting. Lenz TV is currently broadcasting Live and Archived footage via the internet, from its mobile TV studio pop-up. 

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About Lenz TV 

60 years after the town of Lenasia was established, the need for 
audio-visual storytelling is a daily necessity. Lenasia Community 
Television Network (Lenz TV) presents an online platform to showcase 
local news, traffic alerts and social updates in line with the UN 
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11: Make cities and human 
settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. 

Their Objectives 

· Showcase community news, traffic alerts and social updates 
using video; 
· Encourage public interaction and debate on social development issues; 
· Produce exclusive news, features and documentaries about the region; 
· Partner with mainstream media to create and promote content; 
· Train and develop media practitioners. 

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