Development and launch of any Broadcast TV Channel project requires detail analysis of the market; knowledge of the regulatory framework on a local or international level; specialist knowledge of equipment, manufacturers and formats; communications networks; consideration of staffing, employment and contractual obligations; and consideration of capital requirements.
I was first exposed to the world of Broadcast TV Channel and Network development and launch while working with VFG PLC. Through VFG’s Equipment Leasing arm, interests were developed in a number of local broadcasting licence holders, and a long term ability to network such local channels was foreseen, leading to the formation of the Local Broadcasting Group (LBG) which owned 36 of the Licences for Local Television in the UK, though this thinking proved ahead of its time. The round of Local Digital licence releases reflects further development of the concept, however, the market is still developing, and many local licences are yet to launch channel operations, and others are desperately short of quality broadcast content.
The progressive development of compression, HD, UHD (Ultra High Definition), satellite, cable and IPTV (Internet Protocol TV), Over-the-Top (OTT) systems, plus the ability and bandwidth to launch new channels and networks and evolve new markets has come of age.
The development of specialist channels is on the rise, especially in the IPTV and OTT markets. However, the past has demonstrated that in a highly competitive market place, new Network and broadcast channel launches require substantial funding in order to establish them on a sound footing – the graveyard of underfunded channels is considerable. Development of AVTN | NewsNet247 as a new News Network was approached with this firmly in mind, leading to a conservative budget consideration of £198 million plus further requirement for £20m in credit facilities. Potential audience yield, and advertising revenues were cautiously considered for this Network project, prior to the consideration of budget allocations, ultimately ensuring that the project is able to live within its means. It is my opinion that any proposal for entry into the Broadcast TV Channel market should be considered under such terms, and robust enough to withstand scrutiny. Raising the required investment from institutional, individual investors or via the financial markets on the road to channel launch is a completely different proposition in itself.
Broadcast Channel & Network Development Considerations
If you’re thinking of launching a Broadcast Network or TV Channel, some of the considerations you will encounter are listed in this PDF: