Now that we are some eight months into the new Digital Television age…I have not seen the rush I thought would be there to expand the digital programming tiers. True, it can be somewhat costly, but if you plan it right, you can make money with these new digital platforms. I have noticed that some stations are using their side bands to air Weather, Real Estate and the like, but consider, what about actual programming. The cable industry has been expanding in this direction for years, filling the gaps on their additional bands with new and expansion networks. The same can be done on the broadcasting platform. There are several new or existing networks that can provide programming content for your station and at little or no — I repeat — no cost.
To quote Terry Elaqua of AMG television network, “ We are programmed just like a television station would be, with news, variety, children’s programming, sports, Full length movies, Hunting and Fishing, sitcoms, series and more — available for TV stations to pick up full time access, 24 hours a day or any portion thereof. Many large affiliates pick several programs per week to air in several of their empty time periods and add variety programming to their lineup. AMG is an example of one of the newer networks that can provide your new digital stations programming at no cost to you the station owner.
In addition to AMG TV there are other networks available for over the air digital stations to subscribe to, like @sports (at sports) network, a 24 hour sports network featuring all types of sporting events, and scheduled to launch in March a network called HOT TV (History of Television) network featuring programming content from yesterday like, sitcoms, old Westerns, movies, comedies, Sci Fi programming and more. For more info on these networks and to participate as an affiliate, you can contact Terry Elaqua to (908)-835-1008 and get more information.
Another area to consider if you don’t want to go with a network is to program syndicated programs available from various content providers nationwide. These syndicated programs can include specialty programming, movies, music specials, children’s programming, and many available in closed captioned for the hearing impaired…and there are other minority networks available for Hispanic programming through Telemundo and Azteca, Univision and others. And now there is a new black television network planned called Better Black TV to compete with BET and TV One, which are mainly cable now.
And then there are other alternatives depending on how much expense a station wants to incur…local programming, talk, sports and the like but the larger the staff to pull that off, the larger the expense…but the greater the rewards.
My suggestion is to get started — use the more inexpensive networks to start with and you can always expand into more and more local input programming. Keep your costs low, start making money with your stations and then choose the direction you want to take. The point is…all of this space is being wasted, so why not take advantage of it now.
— Bill James, Bill James Programming. Bill has over 40 years’ background in both radio and television. www.billjamesprogramming.com (804) 363-5528. Bill also owns Info Media and helps stations or groups sell national advertising through Direct Response.