Thursday, January 28, 2010

Points – Kent TV bad news I think

slimfigures Kent on Sunday this week carried the above story about Kent TV  “Thousands watch KCC soap”  referring to the Hollywould drama and if you don’t analyze this it looks like a good news story, which it isn’t*, firstly the cost per viewer assuming the same viewers were hooked to each episode, is just over £2 per viewer (based on average viewer figure per episode 10K) or £1 per eye ball.

This “soap”, was aimed at a teenage audience, reaching an average 10,000 per episode, now I may be mistaken but I understand that Kent’s secondary school population is around 90,000 plus, so even if the viewers were Kent’s young adults the show has failed to get much more than 10% of the audience and of coarse had this been any good one might have expected it to have gone “viral” which from these figures it doesn’t appear to have.

Still we’re told that Kent Council Leader Paul Carter will be discussing the future of Kent TV, at his cabinet meeting Feb 1, now its my prediction that Kent TV will continue not because its saving the county a penny, which hasn’t so far, or because anyone watches it, it will get the go ahead because KCC bods wish it to continue.

Finally I’ve been told that the only report to evaluate Kent TV relied on interviews with around 36 “stakeholders” many of whom either worked for KCC or Kent TV or had strong links with county establishment.

The only justification for maintaining Kent TV as I see, is to create or maintain jobs not something that is actually tenable in the real world or that of Kent Council.

*(this incidentally is my view, which I’m entitled to express as previously pointed out to those interested parties who previously tried to er influence me, again a big acknowledgement to ECR for his help) FOR MORE ON THE EPIC SAGA THAT IS KENT TV CLICK ON THE LABEL AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST 


  1. I wounder how many of the 10,000 are Kent children?

    It is possible that KCC can extract better value for money from one of the potential bidders. Just maybe one of them will do it for nothing. Now that would be a turn up. KCC have also bundled web casting (at £50k) into the tender document. Kent TV is still at £600k but 'Whats On" is another £100k.
    What I dont know is whether the tender doc says "what can you deliver for the cash we have available?" or "how little you will charge for a reasonable service?". One of Kent's media groups with an existing video service could do it for a smaller sum than £600k.

    In the meantime if you have a video relevent to Kent their is a fledgling online TV site waiting for you -

    Maybe they are a bidder.

  2. Tony to put this in proportion the most viewed video that I put on youtube has had nearly 10,000 views, in terms of the internet it just isn’t that much, and TDCs most viewed youtube offering has had just over 5,000 views this is the one they put up of their big event, you can draw your own conclusions on that one.

  3. It would be interesting to know if this is the same company

    who contacted grandparents apart based in Scotland (seems rather a long way to have to go) , who were interested ONLY in case where grandparents had been helped by social services; of course there are not any and so they couldn't help.

  4. Tony, the cabinet report is not about the final decision to extend/renew the contract.

    The bad weather delayed the date on which presentations by would-be tenderers were due to be made. The cabinet paper is about arrangements needed to accommodate the delay in the process.

    I understand a final decision will actually come in the next fortnight.

    There are more details on a posting on my blog dated Jan 20 with a link to the cabinet paper.

    Paul Francis

    Paul Francis


    Kent Messenger Group
    2006-2007 £220,557.88
    2007-2008 £264,267.68
    2008-2009 £246,710.83

    Of course, we can always rely on the good old KM to report nothing but whole truth and keep us fully informed.

  6. Kent TV not be in the same league, but I doubt when the founders of YouTube posted their first video five years ago they expected to see the site explode in the way it has.

    We've used a great deal of Kent TV's output on our ThanetKids site. Their productions are an incredible resource in the county.

    On the face of it, internet video and television may seem like wasted money but I wonder how this will look in five years' time? The media world is breaking apart rapidly and the internet is hosting more and more content. I think we should be thankful for initiatives like this.

  7. The thing is that community television will if there is a demand evolve, and KCC's soviet style command economy will not create a demand which it hasn't in two & half years so far so maybe Independent Kent TV is the way forward as are Kent on Sundays TV and Kent Messenger who produce a good local bulletin.

    Michael thanks for more perspective, me too one of my dreamland vids has 11,000 odd views, thanks for professional insight Paul and background anon 7:50 so what KCC spends millions on Radio Tele and newspaper advertising its an unfortunate and worrying side to Kent council but you cannot blame publishers for running in a business like manner or else you'd just have cranks like me.

  8. Gareth, I dont want to point out the obvious, Kent TV has cost Kent Tax payers over £2 millions over the last 2 years or so, Youtube has cost Kent Tax payers £0.

    I understand that your web site is funded by the Labour government to the tune of £100,000.
    Another example of how Labour is helping Thanet. Remember that when you vote at the general election.

  9. Apologies to Gareth I got you site mixed up with the "Thanet Participation Project" that does receive grants.

  10. Its thanet's that recently got the £100K grant

  11. Thanks Anonymous... Yes, we're not funded by anyone. Although we're open to donations if anyone is feeling generous.

    I completely understand that KCC is funding KentTV with taxpayers' money. My point is that often with new technology, like internet TV, the benefits aren't immediately obvious. My guess is that when KCC originally invested money in a website several years ago, similar questions were asked of the validity of spending cash on this new-fangled web technology. Sometimes you have to stick your neck out and risk a few quid ... Not every idea will pay off but at least KCC are looking ahead. I would far rather that than some council still stuck in the 1950s.

  12. I see that hosts its videos on Youtube which will cost them £0 but will offer them a wider market and lead to hit back to the site.

    Also... Has anyone noticed that if you visit the page then the video starts automatically? This is a sure-fire way of getting the video views up without actually having people watch the video.

    Please note that this is the same for the featured video on the frontpage which autoplays as well as any other category so even if I am a casual browser who just wants to find out more or see what's online I am actually adding to their stats without actually wanting to watch the videos.

  13. Gareth is right. KCC does stick its neck out where our money is concerned. Like the £50 millions put into Icelandic banks. Now if it was a private company heads would have rolled over this. With such poor visitor numbers a private company would have also closed down Kent TV long ago. Its not new technology, not leading edge. KCC does not exist to act as a risk taker. Thats down to the private sector. Kent is well provided with videos on demand and whats on services outside of Kent TV and these cost £0 to Kent taxpayers. KCC could have used these free services themselves.