Perth’s community TV broadcaster WTV is doing it tough, forced to cease broadcasting on Free to Air.
Instead it will focus on social media and YouTube.
A post on Facebook last night said, “Dear loyal WTV c44 viewers. WTV is currently off free-to-air television until further notice. There will be more updates to follow. In the meantime – our Undercurrent journalists will be bringing to you a variety of stories to enjoy on FB. We will also proceed to develop our YouTube channel further with more WTV productions. We thank you for your ongoing support. We appreciate your audience very much.”
West Television is a non-profit organisation, run mostly by students and volunteers. It began broadcasting in 2010 following the demise of Access 31.
In December WTV told its followers online, “Perth. We have a problem. For years, we have acted as a training ground and talent incubator in Perth, Australia. But what you might not know is that we have been limping on by last-minute licence extensions since 2015. Unfortunately, today we have to break the news to you that we might not be able to hold out much longer.”
A GoFundMe campaign set up last week was hoping to raise $30,000 for facilities, equipment and administration costs.
“West TV needs your help. We are a community-based television station based in East Perth. The federal and state government do not fund community television here in Perth, Western Australia. We, at WTV, want to bring to you the true community spirit.Perth is built up of many cultures. We would like to share your stories, passions and news. Therefore, we are asking you to help us now,” the campaign advised.
The Community broadcasting sector in Australia has had a difficult 5 years after then-Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered all broadcasters in 2014 to move to an online model with their broadcast spectrum to end. Pleas from the community has led to multiple extensions now until 30th June 2020.