C31 hopes to broadcast church services

Channel 31 Melbourne has reached out to Catholic, Greek, Lutheran and Anglican churches to broadcast church services.

For over 25 years we have been connecting Victoria’s communities, and recent circumstances have highlighted just how important this community work is.

With social distancing restrictions in full effect, many of Victoria’s religious congregations have suddenly lost the ability to practice their faith in groups without fearing becoming ill with COVID-19 (or being fined for breaching the safety of the public).

To help combat this, we’re working with a number of religious groups (including the Catholic, Greek, Lutheran and Anglican churches) to broadcast their liturgies live on free-to-air TV, a first for many of these churches, and a vital resource for members of the population who may not have reliable access to the internet.

Whilst the current restrictions have isolated many from their places of worship or regular events, C31 is working to connect these communities together one again.

If you run a regular event, or have found yourself unable to reach your regular audience – We want to help!

Channel 31 offers affordable and effective livestreaming services, with your feed going anywhere from free-to-air TV, to YouTube, Facebook or a private web portal.


  1. “Channel 31 offers affordable and effective livestreaming services …” so does this means they want the churches to pay them to broadcast the church services?

  2. Interesting to see C31 has had Holy Week Mass services all this week.


    Brilliant that community TV can step up in these times to provide what for many is an essential service, yet the government still wants to knock it off air.

    • I do wish people would respect the facts in the community TV debate. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told them back in 2012 that they could no longer use the “borrowed” sixth digital channel after the end of 2014, but didn’t provide an alternative. In 2014 Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave them the alternative to move online. Since then we’ve seen a veritable proliferation of online television services so why is it such a problem for community television to move there too? In addition they’ve been putting out press releases claiming they’ve never had government or taxpayer funding when the truth is that they have – from the government-administered, taxpayer-funded Community Broadcasting Foundation.

      • I think the community sector have said if there is to be an actual use of the broadcast spectrum they’re using, then so be it. But to date nothing has been said about what is to become of this spectrum. And we’ve seen community TV channels in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth all go off-air (and essentially out of existence) and nothing has been done with the channel that they were occupying.

        If switching off terrestrial broadcast and going online is such a viable option then why don’t the commercial networks, ABC and SBS do it?

        • … dunno if you hadn’t noticed, but that’s effectively what they’re doing. The ABC and SBS in particular have been premiering product online that they sometimes don’t ever run on FTA and only this week David reported on 10’s new drama that they first ran on 10Play now getting to FTA in a couple of weeks. Then there’s Netflix, Stan, et al that are online only. I’ve seen research that says there are now many households that do not have an antenna and only watch television via the internet. Like it or not, television’s future is online. As for the current spectrum, I’ve already said on this forum that I think the current government has a user in mind, we’ll just have to wait and see after 30 June.

          • I think it’s pretty unfair to look to Netflix and Stan when arguing that broadcast television can stay alive as online-only. Netflix and Stan’s whole business models have always been online-only serving paying customers. The Networks and streaming services have completely different business models.

          • I’m not opposed to a transition to online, which is being done organically by the mainstream broadcasters as you say, but it’s being done at their own pace and they have made no indication that they are switching off FTA broadcast at any time in the future. The community sector is being forced to do so with a defined deadline which the government has extended a number of times, so does the government have a use for the frequency or don’t they? The community channels AFAIK argue that as long as there is no intended use for their broadcasting spectrum that they should be able to continue to use it.

            Netflix/Stan/Disney+/Apple/etc are commercial/subscription operators driven by overseas interests with big money behind them. Totally different scenario to community TV.

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