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Kent TV to be given time - despite falling short of targets

Kent TV was launched in September 2007
Kent TV was launched in September 2007

Kent County Council says it remains confident its internet-based TV station, Kent TV, will succeed amid conflicting signals about how well it is doing.

The £1.4million channel was launched last September. It is being operated by Ten Alps, a digital media company founded by Sir Bob Geldof.

At the time of the launch, KCC estimated 50,000 visits* a month would be needed for the station to become viable.

So far there has been an average of about 28,000 visits a month - with numbers peaking in January at 40,312 but dipping in March to 20,800.

On the other hand, March saw Kent TV record nearly 13,000 unique visitors**, the highest number since the launch, which is regarded as a better measure of interest.

It has also emerged KCC is investigating whether it can get EU funding to cover some of the costs of the project. So far, Kent TV has raised just £10,000 through advertising revenue, significantly short of its target.

Deputy county council leader Alex King (Con) said he was satisfied with the progress Kent TV had made and emphasised the council’s original targets for visitors were indicative.

He said: "When you start something that is brand new and has never been done before, how do you set a target? You have to pluck a target out of the air. As we build the channel and increase our knowledge of how it works, then targets will become more specific."

He added: “We believe that it will become self-financing. A year down the road I would be much more concerned, but given that when we started there was nothing like it, it is doing reasonably well."

He accepted EU funding would represent a further investment of public money but argued that KCC was right to look for ways of easing the burden on its council taxpayers.

"Of course it is public money but I am only concerned with what council taxpayers have to give to us and if we can get EU funding to help, we will."

* Visits: the number of times a web page is navigated to;** Unique visitor: an individual who navigates to a website - they may click round several pages on the site, but will only count as one unique visitor.

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