SIBC to introduce television services for their populations 

SIBC to introduce television services for their populations 

A New Zealand company has been selected by the Directors of the National Broadcaster SIBC to develop the plan for a national public television service.

In late 2013, the need for a national TV service was recognized which lead to a funded Australian Media Assistance Project Feasibility Study in early 2015. The SIBC Chairman Mr. Loyley Ngira OBE said Directors discussed the idea and the SIBC Board accepted the study and forwarded it to the Prime Minister with a recommendation that a project be formulated to design and fund the service. The Prime Minister – who is also Minister for Broadcasting –provided funds to hire a television consultant who is to start work on the project plan after Easter. The undertaking will be carried out by Consultant Mr. Gregory Drummond of Telemedia Consulting Ltd a former executive of Sky Television New Zealand who has also worked for Television New Zealand.

The SIBC Directors also approved a plan to commence with a pilot television service as soon as possible to establish a presence in the TV market. Given the scope of the main project, this is also to enable staff prepare. Should the plans go according to plan,the pilot service will be operational before June.

In the meantime, when the Project plan is complete, it will be taken forward by the Prime Minister for funding in the 2017 budget. SIBC expects that around 50% of the population will be served within the first five years of the TV service and other population centres will be provided access soon afterwards.

SIBC has proposed a joint collaboration with Telekom Television (TTL) to provide the television service including the pilot phase.  As TTL has the TV transmitters and infrastructure, SIBC would concentrate on providing content. Discussions will be held with Telekom Television Ltd directors. Once the national TV service is in operation, SIBC will be the latest to join the ranks of pacific island countries that have introduced television services for their populations.

More details can be obtained from Chief Executive Officer, Ashley Wickham, at Ph. 22840 and email awickham@sibc.com.sb