Want to Start Your Own TV Channel? Here’s How To Go About It

Getting into the world of broadcast media is easier and more attainable than you might think, especially at a time when technology has dramatically lowered the barrier to entry for this industry.

So if you’ve got aspirations to launch a TV channel, but you lack the experience or expertise to take the next steps, read on as we give you the framework to follow your dreams.

Put Together The Concept For Your Channel

Before you get carried away, you need to have a solid idea of what your channel will offer. Having a core concept and ethos down in writing will not only help you make subsequent decisions, but will also allow you to pitch your ideas to third parties while sounding careful and considered in your approach.

Perhaps you’ve got an industry niche you want to focus on. Perhaps you are eager to highlight some community or culture that isn’t well served by the mainstream broadcasters. Whatever the case, your concept will be the cornerstone of your channel, and there’s no need to rush its creation.

Weigh Up Where You Want To Broadcast

The TV industry has diversified significantly in terms of how channels can reach audiences. You need to pick one or more platforms to get your content in front of viewers, so what are your options?

Find A Cloud Broadcasting Service That Meets Your Needs

Cloud-based TV is an alternative to broadcast video playout server solutions, and means that you can outsource the procurement and hosting of expensive hardware to a third party provider, while still getting all the benefits of transmitting content online from an in-house infrastructure.

There are lots of vendors out there, and various software and hardware packages all powered by the cloud rather than on-premises servers.

This will obviously suit channels that are focused at engaging with a well-connected viewership, whether that’s via apps, satellite, or anything in between.

Explore Local Leasing Opportunities

Even in an era when TV channels of all sizes are switching away from traditional broadcast technologies, there’s still a sizable market that’s sticking with established platforms.

A good example of this comes in the form of the leasable channels which are legally required to be made available by cable operators nationwide.

The costs of leasing a channel will vary according to the scale of the operator and its audience reach, but the upside is that you won’t have to worry about the technical side of getting into the living rooms of people in a given region.

That doesn’t mean you’ll have a tech-free route to TV success. It’s still sensible to develop skills and invest in studio gear so that you can enter this niche more easily. Also remember that certain skills, such as editing video for social media, are transferable and will apply in a broadcast TV context.

Assess Live Streaming

For a low budget TV channel launch, piggybacking on an existing live streaming platform is a great option. There are a lot of reasons that viewers prefer streaming to cable, and for anyone looking to start a channel right now, it’s tempting to steer clear of old-school approaches altogether as a result.

Platforms like YouTube and Twitch allow solo content creators, as well as big businesses and brands, to run non-stop broadcasts if they wish.

There are rules and restrictions which each platform imposes, and these might limit the appeal depending on your aims and circumstances. However, if you want a way to test the waters with a TV channel concept without having a lot of upfront investment available, this is it.

Make Marketing A Priority

One aspect which is easy to overlook when taking a TV channel from concept to full-blown launch is that you won’t get viewers unless you promote it, especially during the early stages.

Social media once again comes to the rescue here, as building a presence for your channel pre-launch is a way to generate hype and ensure that people already know what to expect before they tune in for the first time.

You can also pay for ad spots on other broadcast TV channels, or use digital marketing techniques including PPC ads and standard organic search optimization to gain traction.

Monetize Your Channel

Lastly, think of ways to generate revenue through your channel so that it isn’t just a money sink. Running ads is still the norm, and depending on the platform you pick this may be supported natively.

Make sure any ads you do play out are relevant to your audience, and check on viewing figures to see if campaigns are helping or hurting. With that, your adventures into TV land can begin!

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Ella Marcotte

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Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon