Samoa’s TV3 closes channel and goes fully online streaming

Samoa's TV3 streaming
Samoa's TV3 streaming . . . "It is a new era for television in Samoa, nobody has ever tried this." Image: TV3 FB screenshot APR

RNZ Pacific

In a first of its kind in Samoa, Apia Broadcasting channel TV3 is moving its station completely to online streaming because it can no longer afford to broadcast traditionally.

The station had its final broadcast last week on Samoa’s digital television platform.

General manager Michael Aisea said Samoa was a small market with many players.

“To run a TV station you need sponsors for different programmes to run the ads on our station. So having eight TV stations in a small market makes for a kind of cut throat industry,” Aisea said.

“It means you have to work hard to get sponsors for your different programmes and everyone is picking from the same pie.”

Aisea said discussions about the switch with the company’s directors started at the beginning of the year.

It cost 23,000 tala a month (US$8333) or 276,000 tala annually to run on Samoa’s television network while online streaming was much cheaper.

“It is a new era for television in Samoa, nobody has ever tried this, we are the first ones to step into the area to see if it’s going to work.”

Aisea said current advertisers were committing to follow the channel online. The channel’s 18 staff would also remain employed.

“If you balance it out, not every home has a TV but every person has a phone, that’s why we decided to stream.”

Aisea said TV3 created local programmes that were in Samoan targeting a broad audience, which would continue online.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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