17 Aug 2009

Regional TV channel 'facing certain death'

1:17 pm on 17 August 2009

Channel North Television in Whangarei says it is facing certain death when the Government switches its television services to a digital-only network in the next few years.

In a discussion paper, the Government says existing analogue technology is becoming obsolete and a full switch-over to digital is expected by 2015.

But it notes that the current digital terrestrial network covers 75% of the population, but that still leaves 10 regional television stations outside the coverage area, including that of Channel North.

Station manager Tim Telfer says Channel North would still be excluded even if coverage is extended to 87%, as has been suggested.

Satellite transmission is too expensive an option, leaving the station no choice but to close down, he says.