Community television program launches streaming app
Channel 31 is looking ahead at a bright future following the launch of its CTV+ app on August 24 at the program’s new studio in Southbank.
The app is in partnership with Adelaide’s Channel 44 and has become Australia’s first community broadcast streaming service.
The new service is a promising avenue for the channels, allowing for their legacy of shaping the careers of some of Australia’s most recognised media personalities to continue.
“Community television has not only provided a rich training ground for some of our most talented TV stars, but it also offers a wide variety of locally-made content and diverse programming for our multicultural communities,” Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos said.
“The launch of CTV+ will see this offering go from strength to strength.”
The struggle to continue broadcasting has been an ongoing challenge for Channels 31 and 44 since 2014, and the final straw seemed to be when both were told the broadcasting of their free-to-air programs would be stopped in July 2021.
The decision to close the non-government funded channels was made under the Morrison government, but a majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate saw an extension to the timeline, within days of their closure.
As well as extending both channels’ broadcasting licences until 2024, to allow additional time to transition to an online format, the Victorian government also granted Channel 31 $120,000 in funding.
Of the decision to support community television, Federal Member for McNamara Josh Burns reflected on how far the channel had come to not be “panicking about tomorrow but planning for tomorrow and the future of community television”.
The new streaming service will allow for audiences to continue to tune in to their favourite programs no matter where they are, with over 80 on-demand programs, over 1000 episodes and 25,000 minutes of content already available online.
This move to online is only the beginning for community television with the announcement of the platform’s Smart TV app also launching in 2023.
“Despite the challenges we have faced over the past few years, community TV stations in Melbourne and Adelaide continue to produce high-quality, uniquely local and culturally diverse content which has cemented us as a vital part of the Australian media sector,” Channel 31’s general manager Shane Dunlop said.
“The CTV+ app will expand our reach beyond metro Melbourne to engage new audiences and program makers in regional Victoria and interstate.”
The CTV+ app is available through the Apple App store and Android Google Play. •
For more information: ctvplus.org.au