THE Catholic Church has extended its national media reach with the March 1 launch of a Catholic presence on a new pay TV community channel.
The new digital community channel, Aurora TV, is available on the basic package of Foxtel and Austar.
Broadcasting on Channel 183, it gives faith based groups, not-for-profit social service companies and non-government organisations a voice on Australian television.
Catholic Church Television Australia (CCTVA) director, Jesuit Father Richard Leonard, said the Catholic Church was approached to be involved.
Foxtel will broadcast the Aurora channel free of charge but CCTVA must pay to acquire and produce programs, and for the number of hours on air.
The only conditions set by Aurora are that programs cannot vilify anyone and they must be of the highest production values.
Other groups participating are the Salvation Army; Anglican Media; Mission Australia; UNICEF; Red Cross; UNHCR; Australian Asian Youth Centre; Plan International; the Australian Film, Radio and Television School; and Swinburne Film School.
Initially, CCTVA will broadcast Mass on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am, as well as airing Australian documentary films focusing on the liturgical season, a feast day or a national observance.
Melbourne based Albert Street Productions, which produces a range of programs for Catholic Church groups, has welcomed the new TV venture.
Chief executive officer Moya Iceton said Aurora TV would provide a new and more readily available market to air programs by Catholic program makers.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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