'Shoestring budget' TV woo 50,000 viewers

The National University of Samoa’s NUS TV operates on a “shoestring budget” but a success story in its short history includes a 50,000 viewership, says Vice-Chancellor Aiono Professor Alec Ekeroma.

The Vice-Chancellor, in a recent interview with the Samoa Observer, said the university-run television station has done well despite being run on a shoestring budget.

He said one of the highlights in its short history is recording 50,000 viewers at one time based on their own monitoring of their social media platforms.

"But we have done very well in a sense that we have now moved from testing, from production of some of our videos to programming," Aiono said.

"And now we have some standard programmes now online so I am really pleased with how things are going."

And with NUS TV News now only scheduled for once a week, Aiono revealed that they tried to get Pasifika Network linked to them through satellite, which would give them permission to screen news from Australia and New Zealand as additional content to local news.

"But unfortunately we could not get that assistance that TV1 and TV5 and TV3 actually have but we won't stop trying," he said.

Aiono said that with the media and journalism students, he has asked the NUS media and journalism lecturer to mobilise students to log practical experience, in not only gathering news but also presenting news as well as doing some analysis at the same time.

With the channel being an education channel, he is hoping that the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture will move more of their programmes to the television channel.

"We're seeing really in the next six months, twelve months we are going to have more N.U.S educational programmes and also M.E.S.C programmes on our channel," Aiono said.

According to Aiono some of the challenges they had faced was having the sector and stakeholders buy into support the network.

"Because it's not cheap to run a TV channel, so we had to make sure that any resources with regards to transmitting TV images was well supported by stakeholders," he said.

Aiono said that with the M.E.S.C now shelving its TV channel plans they are looking at the NUS TV as an education channel and while the university has a community license, they will probably look at having a commercial license in the future.

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