Christian TV to disappear from free digital broadcast

At the same time as Sydney is looking forward to a new digital Christian radio service, it is losing on April 30 its popular digital television broadcast of the Australian Christian Channel (ACC).

ACC is screened free to air on digital channel 46 as part of trial broadcast of niche channels known as Digital Forty Four. Other channels to end on April 30 include National Indigenous Television, Expo home shopping channel, Teachers TV, Federal Parliament, a news, sport and weather headlines channel from the ABC and a digital program guide.

The scrapping of the free broadcast is the result of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s decision not to extend the trial, which was conducted by Broadcast Australia.

‘We don’t believe the public interest is being well served with this decision,’ Graeme Barclay, Broadcast Australia Group CEO said. ‘We continue to passionately believe in the value to the industry and the community of niche programming being available on a free to air basis.’

The Australian Christian Channel has been a part of the trial that began in 2004 and reports it has seen a growing, supportive audience who value the service. ACC will now only be available to people with Pay TV such as Foxtel, Austar, Optus TV, TransACT and Neighbourhood Cable.

If you would like to lobby for the re-introduction of the ACC and other niche broadcasters on free to air digital television, write to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy:
email – ; postal address – Hon. Stephen Conroy, Level 4, 4 Treasury Place, Melbourne Vic, 3002. PH

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