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01/29/2008

The First TV Network Created For Multicast

Broadcast veteran, Victor Ives, loves seeing those notices almost every TV station is running that explain how the government-mandated move in 2009 from analogue to digital will change the face of television. Why? Because it makes it a lot easier to explain the need for his new Multicast Classic Movie Television Network. 

�Now in our second year, we were the very first television network set up primarily to provide programming to the new class of �multicast� stations being created by the FCC mandated migration of all TV stations from analog to digital,� he explains. �Up until now, people were incredulous that the government was, in effect, going to increase the number of TV stations by 400 to 500 percent!�

In addition to blanket satellite coverage of Canada, the USA and Mexico, the White Springs channel is now seen 24/7 in twenty Asian nations including China, Hong Kong and the Philippines. �In Asia there are millions of people who can pick up our programming from space,� Ives disclosed. �Technically, these receivers are illegal in China, but they�re so prevalent that government officials go out of their way for photo opportunities with the personalities on channels seen there.�

White Springs TV, which is owned by a group of Portland investors, provides programming, via satellite, to individual viewers who own small dishes and KU Band digital receivers as well as to television stations and cable systems. White Springs TV is operated by White Springs Media, a privately held company.

The streaming is catching on where it might be least expected. The network got an e-mail from a doctor in Iran asking for more American cowboy movies. �That would have pleased my former mentor and employer, Gene Autry, the movie cowboy,� said Ives.

A big break recently occurred for the fledging network when Comcast Cable NW started airing some of their made-for-television movies and scored impressive ratings. The 1974 comedy, �Thursday's Game� with Bob Newhart and Gene Wilder, beat 17 other channels including A&E, Bravo, and FOX News; tying USA�s �Law & Order� and MTV.

Ives says that was the turning point. It gave WSTV credibility and placed them on the radar of prospective affiliates and media partners.  �Absent that successful stint on Comcast, we wouldn�t have an affiliate in Los Angeles or so much interest across America and beyond,� Ives admitted.


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