National Indigenous Television
|National Indigenous Television|
|Launched||13 July 2007|
|Owned by||Special Broadcasting Service|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Telling Your Stories|
|Headquarters||St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia|
|Sister channel(s)||SBS One
|Analogue||Tuned to various frequencies|
|Optus C1||Transponder 6|
|Optus D1||Transponder 15|
|Optus Aurora||LCN 31 (generally)|
The National Indigenous Television channel, commonly referred to as NITV (and pronounced 'native'), is an Australian television channel that broadcasts programming produced primarily by indigenous peoples of Australia. It was initially only carried by cable and satellite providers (along with some limited over-the-air transmissions in certain remote areas). NITV was launched as a free-to-air channel on Freeview channel 34 on 12 December 2012. This followed the transfer of the management and operation of the channel to the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) on 1 July 2012.
In 2010 the Australian Government commissioned a wide-ranging review of its investment in the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector. The review was headed up by retired senior public servant Neville Stevens with the assistance of Expert Panel members Laurie Patton and Kerrynne Liddle. The review recommended that NITV continue to receive government funding only on the basis that it was re-structured. Subsequently, Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy invited NITV to enter in negotiations with SBS in order to access one of that network's unused digital terrestrial channels.
Indigenous groups and individuals lobbied the Australian Government to fund a nationwide Indigenous television service in the 1980s and 90s, however no major political party championed this cause.
In the late 1990s the Imparja Info Channel (also known as "Channel 31") was launched free-to-view on the satellite Optus Aurora service, providing largely Aboriginal programming direct to homes and via network of BRACS transmitters to remote Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal programming on this channel later became known as Indigenous Community Television.
In 2004, Imparja stated a desire to run a better funded service, at least within its license area. In the same year, a voluntary NITV Committee was formed and a summit was held in Redfern, Sydney. The summit involved a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media professionals and community members committed to the establishment of a national Indigenous broadcasting service.
In 2005 the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts considered funding an indigenous public broadcaster, and subsequently conducted a review process. Following the conclusion of the report, the Government of Australia announced $48.5 million in funding for NITV.
In 2007, NITV established a head office in Alice Springs and a television arm in Sydney. On 13 July 2007 NITV launched, replacing Imparja Info Channel on Optus Aurora and in the remote Aboriginal communities it previously reached. It soon after also became available free-to-air on Optus D1 to Australia and eastern Papua New Guinea .
NITV announced in September 2007 that it would also launch on Australian subscription television services, and has commenced on 1 November 2007 on Foxtel and Austar's satellite service on channel 180, with it becoming available on its cable service soon after. It shows Australian programs and sports like The Last Tasmanian, The Ngurratjuta Lighting Cup, The Marngrook Footy Show, Letterbox, Burned Bridge, and the annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout.
On 8 May 2012, SBS received $158m in government funding, of which $15m a year would be dedicated to a new free to air Indigenous Australian channel which would replace NITV in July 2012, with 90% of staff transferring to this new channel. While SBS did not initially comment on whether the new channel would maintain the NITV branding, SBS elected to re-launch NITV on Freeview channel 34 on 12 December 2012. Among its launch day programming was two live broadcasts from Uluru, including From the Heart of Our Nation, a two-hour event to mark the channel's launch at Noon, and a concert in primetime simulcast by SBS One.
NITV's lineup focuses on programming of interest to and showcasing indigenous Australians, such as documentaries, current affairs programs (such as Living Black), sports (such as The Marngrook Footy Show), a block of domestic and international children's programming focusing on indigenous and aboriginal culture (under the name Jarjums), and films.
- "Services Provision Review". DCITA. July 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
- "New Network". The Australian. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- NITV - Media Room
- "NITV: Launch Day". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- David Knox. "$158m funding boost for SBS". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "New Indigenous TV channel for SBS". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- "SBS - but wait there's more...". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2012-05-10.