A new Haitian TV network is debuting in South Florida, broadcasting mainly in Creole to fast-growing Haitian communities from Delray Beach to Florida City.
Haitian Digital Television is the brainchild of film producer and TV veteran Claude Mancuso, who ran a local 24-hour Haitian cable TV channel that closed in 2006.
His new venture will be free in South Florida, available to viewers with simple TV antennas that can be bought for $40 or less.
The channel initially targets Haitians in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. The latest U.S. Census data estimates nearly 300,000 people of Haitian descent in the area, up by 55 percent since 2000 and accounting for nearly 5 percent of tri-county residents.
But Haitian community leaders estimate many more, especially since Haiti’s devastating earthquake two years ago.
To ensure the channel lasts, Mancuso is paying careful attention to costs this time.
He is leasing digital channel 8.3 from Miami’s Spanish-language GenTV, part of Colombia’s Caracol media group.
It’s one of many new virtual channels starting up, due to the fact analog television ended and broadcasters began dividing their bandwidth into more over-the-air channels to earn more cash.
Leasing the new digital channel costs a fraction of what Mancuso used to pay to lease a cable channel.
New technologies and lower tech costs also help keep costs down.
The new company operates from a small office at Miami, which has satellites on the roof. It receives and broadcasts its signal by satellite for likely one-third what it would have cost for satellite transmission a decade ago, Mancuso said.
Another small company in the advanced screens that the tv sign is working proper, checking only some small pieces of kit. And television crews now can edit on lap-top computers and will movie around the city with small hand held cameras, all at a ways lower apparatus prices than years back.
Mancuso also is economizing via first broadcasting mainly pre-recorded films, music videos and parts of news shows from Haiti. He’ll slowly upload more subject matter to be movieed in South Florida — plans come with an area cleaning soap opera — and likewise, later will display subject matter movieed and sent from Haitian groups around the globe.
The South Florida channel now is in test-mode and must roll out inside weeks, Mancuso said.
We’re creating a window of Haitian tradition from here. we will’t do it from Haiti, for the reason that country doesn’t have the bandwidth. It’s not possible from there, he mentioned of his Caribbean nation of 9 million residents, the hemisphere’s poorest and still recovering from the earthquake.
Partnering in the TV venture is Manuel Sanchez, a Cuba-born entrepreneur who started working with Haitians to market his pre-paid phone products and now leases Haitian radio time. Sanchez said he sees solid business opportunity to offer Creole digital TV in South Florida and sustain it with ads.
Mancuso and his partners also plan to seek ads and other revenue worldwide.
They’re speaking to companies to broadcast the channel — or no less than some programs — in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti and other united states of america areas with large Haitian communities comparable to ny. in addition they have plans for an web tv channel.
A TV station can’t survive by relying on one market, said Mancuso. But by being on satellite, with what I believe is the only digital Creole TV station, we can increase eyeballs and with that, ad revenue.