R2m revamp for Bay TV station
Broadening access to African story-telling and creating platforms for local content creators, this is the rationale behind MultiChoice’s multi-million rand decision to back community TV channel, Bay TV.
The Port Elizabeth-based TV studio this week launched its recently revamped facility, following a R2m investment for the upgrade.
Bay TV is one of six South African community TV Channels which MultiChoice has partnered with, providing equipment, training opportunities, as well as content.
According to MultiChoice Group executive for corporate affairs, Joe Heshu, the group’s investment into community media meant that it could continue playing a significant role by adding economic value and employment opportunities within the local video entertainment sector.
This also includes access to training opportunities and technical support.
“For us it’s about broadening access to African story-telling and creating platforms for local content creators to tell their stories, and in so doing create a talent pipeline can feed all of South African and indeed take our stories to the world,” Heshu said.
Bay TV is a free-to-air station that was established by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and is largely funded by local government and run by an independent board of directors.
The station now broadcasts for 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, telling local stories.
Bay TV Chairman Motse Mfuleni said he believed the investment was key to continuing their journey as an independent community television channel that grows local talent in communities.
“The biggest asset we have is the ability for skills development in television and you are able to use a platform such as this [to] develop our people to tell our own stories, because without talent you are not going to be able to do that,” he said.
“We have seen talent that we have developed and grown, feed the broader media community, whether it be at technical level, camera crews, engineers and presenters.”
MultiChoice handed over the state-of-the art studio to Bay TV on Thursday evening which now feature world-class servers, cameras and digital panel backdrop screens.
Heshu said: “The Multichoice Group and the community media partner jointly identify infrastructure, training and content needs of the community media partner.
“The investment from Multichoice responds to those needs.
“In a case of Bay TV, they needed a studio upgrade to improve the quality of their content and production offering.” Heshu said.
Aside from the investment, MultiChoice has an ongoing partnership with community TV stations for the provision of content.
All community TV channels receive and air content at their discretion - largely based on their key audience preferences.
“Sharing these broadcast rights not only ensures the community channels become involved in the delivery of high-quality, live sports content to their audiences but also positions the channels to gain stronger market presence, which will improve their ability to commercialise the content over time,” Heshu said.
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