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bkman19901,474 posts since 29 Jan 2012
UTV Newsline
I just read this OP from Digital Spy about the free to air movie channel Talking Pictures TV. There was an radio interview on the 12th of April from BBC Radio 4 who was interviewing the head of the channel; Noel Cronin. The OP included some great length of detail about how this channel was run along with his daughter from nothing other than from his home with equipment being used from his kitchen & his own garden shed.


On Thursday 12 April there was a radio interview about Talking Pictures with Noel Cronin, the man behind the channel.

He revealed some interesting facts about how it operates when the interviewer said that that she was surprised that it was being run from his home and that there weren't the banks of TV monitors that she had expected. He said that they only had one TV and another in the kitchen, that most of the technical side had been farmed out to third parties and that acquisitions & scheduling were based in the shed!

He says that material has been sourced from all sorts of places, including EBay, and that a lot of material was bought from the BBC after him pestering them for three years. Apparently, it was no longer suited to today's schedules, some was damaged due to age and cost £200,000, which is a lot more than I would have envisaged. His most prized acquisition was scrooge. Wonder where he got the Southern TV material from?

They have over a million viewers and are now making a profit, with some viewers watching from dawn until late night. One lady even rang him to say that she had missed the end of the morning film (he deliberately puts on watchable programming on early mornings when the other channels are showing Teleshopping and it's paid off with the number of viewers), so asked him to play it again in the afternoon! He had to explain that schedules are compiled three months ahead, but sorted something out for her. This reminded me of when Peter Kaye said that his mother didn't like pausing live TV as it wasn't fair on the other people watching :smiley:

He's a very pleasant and helpful man from my own personal dealings with him.

They make money from selling DVD's as well as advertising (not sure if they have any sponsors) and have moved into profit after only three years and are now on a widespread Freeview mux, Freesat, Virgin Media and Sky.

I wonder how many more channels are now run on shoestring as the world of TV has changed? As audiences fragment within a multi channel environment, even the main channels have cut back. A few months ago I remember a fairly famous actress saying that at one time the cast would be placed altogether in a top hotel, but not anymore. A friend went down to London to be interviewed recently, he had envisaged first class rail travel and a limousine to pick him up as it used to be, but he was given a second class rail ticket and had to share a taxi with other participants.

Anyone who would like to listen to the interview can hear a repeat of 'The Film Programme' on Sunday at 23:00 or via the iPlayer.


That has left me speechless. That summary above from Digital Spy just sounds fascinating. I can't believe that a successful channel like Talking Pictures TV can be run from a garden shed. Although this channel has not had a good relationship with Ofcom as it had broken rules from them in the past. I downloaded the radio interview to listen to it so I can listen to it later on in the day. You can download the interview or listen to it on iPlayer. I hope that Noel and his daughter get more success from it in the future.
Rory, nigel and what gave kudos
SA10034 posts since 13 Jan 2015
Its impressive what they have achieved! Found a niche and ran with it. I was a little unclear if they were buying up these old films outright or just a traditional TV license? Does anybody know who there Playout and Ad Sales are with? Must cost a few hundred grand for those tech aspects. With no Sky high staff and office costs - I guess this is how they can make it work. And great to see they have made money selling ad space outside the traditional 16-34ABC1's.
Rory and nigel gave kudos
Inspector Sands14,291 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I can't believe that a successful channel like Talking Pictures TV can be run from a garden shed.

Why not?

As it says they've got third parties doing their technical work, which is how most TV companies do it these days. All that's left is running the actual channel - scheduling and buying in programmes, administration, marketing and co-ordinating the various third parties. I imagine advertising they farm out too

I don't know if they make their own interstitials but there's no reason these couldn't be produced on a reasonably priced laptop these days.

I expect they hurt send the tapes and film reels they but in straight to a facilities house for digitisation and just handle the files in the 'shed' sending them off to playout
bilky asko gave kudos