So you want to set up your own TV channel?


Christopher Scanlon

Acquire complete DVD boxsets of Seinfeld, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond to ensure a continuous stream of quality ...

Acquire complete DVD boxsets of Seinfeld, Friends, and Everybody Loves Raymond to ensure a continuous stream of quality programming. Photo: Getty Images

Dear Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA), please find attached my application for a new digital television license. Everything is in order, but I would like to highlight some of the innovative parts of my application that make mine a truly compelling case.
In full compliance with Section 42 of the Broadcasting Services Act, I have acquired complete DVD boxsets of SeinfeldFriends, and Everybody Loves Raymond to ensure a continuous stream of quality programming.
This will be supplemented by the latest in television hits, including The SimpsonsThe Big Bang TheoryTwo and a Half MenThe Big Bang TheoryHow I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory.  
Noting the ongoing concerns about Australian content, I have taken steps to ensure that there will be 6 hours of Danoz Direct each and every morning. It doesn't get more Oz than Danoz.
As part of our commitment to the Australian film industry we’ve secured the rights to The MatrixMission: Impossible II and Lethal Weapon.
And in keeping with ACMA’s mandate to ensure that broadcasters reflect Australia’s full cultural diversity, I have included Are You Being Served as part of my regular programming schedule.
Reflecting Australia’s aging population, I have personally insisted that older Australians be given plum on-screen roles. Our weather presenter, Candice, for example, is 27.
The rest of our news team are also around retirement age. News anchor, Doug, for example, is well-past retirement age and Olympic swimming great, John, has just come out of retirement to front the sports desk.
Our news team will be supported by an extensive news and current affair bureau to ensure that audiences are regularly updated about local, national and international happenings throughout the day. I call it ‘Brand Power’. 
My commitment to informing and educating Australian audiences about the latest breakthroughs extends beyond news and current affairs, however. Commercial confidentiality restricts me from saying too much about this in a publicly available document — all a bit hush-hush I’m afraid — but we are negotiating the rights to a documentary-style drama featuring a crime-fighting car who talks. A talking car — imagine that!
Should negotiations fall through, we will revert to plan B which includes a science docu-drama featuring a likeable scientist who goes by the simple moniker ‘Macgyver’ who does science experiments using everyday household items such as bleach, a pocket knife and a length of cable. 
Otherwise, the schedule will consist of a judicious mix of the disastrous and the desperate served up as entertainment of the viewing public: fat people crying, footballers dancing, gormless globetrotters racing each other for cash, along with the usual assortment of amateurs cooking, singing, renovating and modeling while earnestly declaring, all evidence to the contrary, that ‘they were put on this earth to cook/sing/renovate/model’.
And for those who prefer high culture, there’s always Downtown Abbey
Following the best practices of other major commercial broadcasters, I will continue to uphold the move to digital broadcasting which has allowed broadcasters the capacity to pioneer multi-channel broadcasting. I'm keen to take advantage of the extra channels through the implementation of the revolutionary Parallel Broadcasting.
As I’m sure you realise, parallel broadcasting is a highly technical system that only a few experts fully understand. The layperson’s explanation is that it allows viewers to watch identical content on three different channels in real time.
Using this approach, Australian audiences are no longer forced to suffer under the tyranny of being subjected to Karl and Lisa’s banter on Channel Nine’s Today every morning. Now they’ll have the option of watching Karl and Lisa’s banter on GEM instead. Australian television audiences have never had such a diverse number channels on which to watch the same content.
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to doing my bit to uphold the finest traditions of Australian commercial television.
Christopher Scanlon teaches journalism at La Trobe University and is co-founder of, the site for emerging journalists