PIONEERING internet television channel, Helensburgh.tv, has broken even, operationally, after just eight months – proving beyond doubt, to its founders, the commercial viability of hyperlocal services.
The daily news, sport and entertainment channel began broadcasting to the home town of television inventor, John Logie Baird, on 26 January 2011, the 85th anniversary of his first public demonstration of television.
“Helensburgh.tv, which serves a population of around 25,000, has broken even on running costs after just eight months and is now making a monthly profit as a result of advertising and the support of the local community,” said Brian Keating, director of URTV and a former executive with Apple Computers, Newbridge Networks and Thirdspace.
“We have proved that hyperlocal television is something that people want and that it is commercially viable.
“We are already rolling out the service to other communities and we are in talks with a number of licensing partners keen to work with us in offering URTV in their areas.”
URTV is the first social TV network in the world to develop an iPhone application for viewers to contribute news and advertisements via video.
The easy to use newsgatherer app is free to download from the Apple iTunes store and provides a direct line to the URTV network so viewers can submit their own video news, comments and classified advertising.
The network has also recruited a team of experienced reporters from the national press and broadcasters from the BBC and commercial channels along with highly skilled IT people to work with a new generation of multi-media journalists.
“Over the last few months we have piloted a number of firsts in providing hyperlocal community content,” said Jo de Sylva, director of URTV and an-award winning former BBC radio and television presenter.
“We were the first to broadcast hyperlocal council and Scottish parliamentary hustings. We have given numerous community groups – including churches, charities, sports clubs and voluntary organisations – a platform where they can be seen and heard in the homes of people they want to reach.
“Helensburgh has also had its share of national news in the last few months and we have been there to break many of those stories and ensure they are handled in a responsible way. We have provided a social media television platform for ordinary people and local organisations previously unheard of.”
For more information on URTV please visit www.helensburgh.tv or contact Peppercorn PR on 0845 217 8757.
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