Melbourne and Adelaide community TV stations continue to operate for three more years


Some weight has been removed from the shoulders of community broadcasters C31 Melbourne and C44 Adelaidean after an amendment to broadcasting laws was passed by the Australian Senate and confirmed in the House of Representatives yesterday, offering a three-year extension additional access to free streaming.

The broadcasters will remain on site at least until June 30, 2024.

In a statement released by C31 Melbourne, Managing Director Shane Dunlop reiterated the importance of keeping community television alive.

“We are pleased that common sense has prevailed and look forward to the next three years, continuing our 27 year tradition of providing accessible, dynamic and meaningful service to the diverse communities of Melbourne and beyond,” he said. -he declares.

The station has been broadcasting Greek Orthodox Easter services for a few years now and was particularly prominent during last year’s strict lockdown.

READ MORE: Channel 31 Welcomes Young Greek-Australian to Advisory Board

C31 Melbourne live coverage of a 2019 Speak Greek In March conference Photo: Facebook / Melbourne and Geelong

Members and organizations of the Greek-Australian community in Melbourne have expressed their support for C31, having had the opportunity to broadcast their own content on the free channel.

The Melbourne Greek community emphasized the importance of having diverse voices heard in the media.

“Channel 31 has been a huge supporter of the Melbourne Greek community and has always been present at our events. It provides us with an important media channel to capture and broadcast our events on video. It is important to make community television work because it allows us to tell our stories. It gives access and a voice that is not a caricature of ourselves, ”the organization said. Neos Kosmos.

Comedy group director Aunty Donna and filmmaker Max Miller discussed how the first filmed content the group ever produced was for C31. The comedy group then signed a deal with streaming service Netflix and rose to the top of the Australian charts.

“It provides a platform for people to create things, because otherwise you’re just creating content for yourself. Channel 31 gives you the experience of working on a suitable show that will be broadcast on television. It legitimizes what you do and that kind of experience is so hard to get when you’re just starting out, ”he said. Neos Kosmos.

“For us, it was so crucial. We weren’t doing any filmed comedy content before that, it was just a live act. It sparked a big event for us and if Channel 31 didn’t exist I don’t know what would have happened.

C31 Melbourne Chair Mike Zafiropoulos AM Photo: Supplied

READ MORE: Aunty Donna director talks Channel 31’s road to Netflix

C31 Melbourne echoed similar sentiments for local art in its statement.

“This move ensures that community television’s valuable contribution to the arts industry as a whole can continue until at least June 30, 2024 and helps the sector build its financial and digital capacity to continue broadcasting to audiences. audiences across the country. “

C31 Melbourne President Mike Zafiropoulos AM then thanked everyone who supported the community channel.

“The C31 Board of Directors would like to recognize the efforts of our wonderful staff, producers and program directors over the past few months. We were also overwhelmed by public support and encouraged by the collective determination to fight for a positive outcome for community television in Victoria. Thank you, ”he said.

Community TV free-to-air licenses have been under threat since 2014, when former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that community TV stations in Australia should operate only online from the end of 2015.

Since then, a series of last-minute license extensions have kept both channels on the air as they operate under increasingly difficult circumstances. Others have not been so fortunate, with C31 in Brisbane, TVS in Sydney and recently WTV Perth all bent under the pressure of license uncertainty.

In an effort to overhaul television broadcasting in Australia, the federal government released the Green Paper on Media Reform: Modernizing Television Regulation in Australia in November 2020.

The document proposed a replenishment of the existing broadcast spectrum to allow efficiency gains and facilitate the auctioning of surplus spectrum to the telecommunications industry. Community television licensees were not included in the reforms.

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