Media

Fiji TV launches second free to air channel

Broadening efforts in appealing to its much younger target audience, Fiji Television Limited today launched its second free to air channel which will be available on the ‘Walesi’ digital broadcasting platform. Awareness sessions on the launch of the new channel began in early July this year at the Grand Pacific Hotel. In a statement, Fiji […]

Salote Qalubau

August 5, 2016 2:05 pm

Broadening efforts in appealing to its much younger target audience, Fiji Television Limited today launched its second free to air channel which will be available on the ‘Walesi’ digital broadcasting platform.

Fiji TV CEO Mr Geoffrey Smith while speaking at the informal session at the GPH with advertising clients ealier this year. (Luke Nacei/Newswire)
Fiji TV CEO Mr Geoffrey Smith while speaking at the informal session at the GPH with advertising clients earlier this year. (Luke Nacei/Newswire)

Awareness sessions on the launch of the new channel began in early July this year at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

In a statement, Fiji TV CEO Geoffrey Smith said the Channel 2 would be an addition to Fiji Tv’s list of other channels.

SMITH: “Channel 2 is an exciting new addition to Fiji TV’s bouquet which currently includes Fiji One, a channel that has solidified its presence in homes across Fiji and the pacific since its inception in 1994.”

Furthermore, channel 2 is expected to build on the brand and high-quality programming that Fiji TV has established over its 22 years of existence.”

Fiji TV's second channel 'Fiji Two'. (Fiji TV)
Fiji TV’s second channel ‘Fiji Two’. (Fiji TV)

Mr Smith said Channel 2’s portfolio of programs will launch with the LIVE coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympics which will include popular comedy series such as Aunty Tala (laughing Samoans) and other blockbuster movies.

The programmes to feature on Channel 2 have been carefully selected to bridge the gap for inspirational home entertainment. Its is also wholly privately funded. Channel 2 will broadcast 24 hours  a day, seven days a week on ‘Walesi’.

Fiji Television Limited (Fiji TV) is still waiting for Government’s final word on digital platform ‘Walesi’ before launching its second free to air channel, Fiji Two.

Fiji TV Chief Executive Officer Mr Geoffrey Smith. (Facebook)
Fiji TV Chief Executive Officer Mr Geoffrey Smith. (Facebook)

Fiji Television Limited is ready to take full advantage of the new digital platform and plans are also underway for Fiji TV’s Channel 2.

Fiji TV Chief Executive Officer Mr Geoffery Smith said that tests have already been carried out in some areas in Fiji.

SMITH: “I understand that tests have already been successfully carried out in areas such as Suva, Lami and parts of the western division. From Fiji TV’s side of things, we have already prepared a test on-air schedule. This includes a mix of local as well as overseas shows.”

Under Fiji TV’s 12-year broadcast license, Mr. Smith said they are required to air up to 73 hours of local current affairs, documentaries, drama and entertainment by the end of 2016.

Other conditions in the licence encourage the development of local production in the country.

Mr Smith said by the end of 2018, the requirement goes up to 95-hours a week, out of which, 45-hours must be local content which is not local sports.

SMITH: “I assume and expect that this requirement is applied across the industry so that everyone is on a level playing field. However because Fiji TV does not enjoy the privilege of accessing public service broadcast funding, the huge challenge for us is to generate these new local content with full sponsorship backing from our corporate partners.”

In February this year, Fiji TV Director, Mr. Nouzab Fareed, said the new channel was part of the company’s expansion plans.

Mr. Fareed said the new channel would be launched on government’s new digital platform, Walesi.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) was allocated $2million in the 2016 National Budget for the purchase of Digital TV set up boxes or decoders. Walesi was initially announced to be launched in October last year.

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