The Community Television Association welcomes the success of member NvTv in being awarded the Belfast local digital television service by the British regulator, Ofcom. NvTv recently switched off their analogue signal after eight years of broadcasting and it is encouraging to see recognition of the fantastic work by their team over this time.
“Northern Visions has long been a pioneer in community television on the island of Ireland and this is a great day for both media diversity and community participation in Ireland. Through the CTA content sharing agreements, the fantastic material produced by Belfast’s communities with the support of NvTv has been enjoyed across Ireland through transmission on our other community TV channels. We all look forward to continuing to work with Marilyn, Dave and everybody at NvTv to continue to develop access to community television for everyone in Ireland,” Margaret Gillan, chairperson of the CTA, said earlier today.
However, secretary of the organisation, Ciaran Moore, pointed out the unequal support for community TV on the two sides of the border:
“It’s unfortunate that the Digital Switchover in the south on the 24th October will take place with no plans for digital community television in place. We call on the Minister for Communications to examine how the digital dividend can extend to communities producing and broadcasting their own television in Dublin, Cork, Navan & around Ireland and provide access to the airwaves. We have put forward proposals for an all island community TV channel on the RTE muxes, if this is not viable then spectrum should be allocated to community television in the south as well.”
Mr. Moore also welcomed the other community television stations who were recently awarded licences in the pilot areas, in particular Sheffield. “Steve and the team visited Dublin earlier this year to discuss content and technology sharing and we look forward to supporting the rollout of ‘free to air’ digital community television in the UK.”
Notes for editors:
The Community Television Association is the representative organisation for the community television sector on the island of Ireland. The three channels licenced by the BAI (DCTV, CCTv, P5TV) are members as are NvTv in Belfast. There are also producer and community members and aspirant stations.
All Island Digital Community TV Channel:
The Dublin, Belfast and Cork community television channels have submitted an expression of interest in delivering a single digital community TV channel over Saorview and Freeview to all homes on the island, free of charge. Although this proposal was viewed positively by the Broadcasting Authority, Analogue Swtich Off will happen on the 24th October with no plans for community television to be part of digital television in the Republic.