4th November 2009
The Australian Community Television Alliance (ACTA) today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to allocate digital spectrum for Community Television.
ACTA was formed primarily to coordinate the sector's representations to Government and in particular to secure digital spectrum and funding support during the digital/analogue simulcast period that concludes at the end of 2013. Since the introduction of digital broadcasting to Australia in 2001 Community Television channels have been the only ones not available via digital set-top boxes.
The lack of digital spectrum has severely hampered audience growth for Community Television and in recent times has seen audience numbers in most cities begin to fall significantly. "As Community TV relies on sponsorship revenue to fund station operations, and sponsors want to know that people are watching, urgent action was required," ACTA Secretary Laurie Patton said.
"Today's announcement from Senator Conroy proves that ACTA's campaign has worked," Mr Patton added. "The Government clearly understood that without a digital pathway Community Television was destined for broadcasting oblivion".
ACTA is pleased that the Government has accepted its arguments in favour of Community Television and its potential to play an important role in a developing digital multichannel world.
"Community TV stations provide a unique platform for the expression of the views and interests of a wide range of community groups and individuals that would otherwise go unheard. In addition to providing an outlet for local viewpoints and diverse opinions Community Television acts as a training ground for new entrants to the broadcast industry," Mr Patton concluded.
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