10 May 2024

Samoa's TV3 closes channel and goes fully online

4:33 pm on 10 May 2024
TV3 Samoa logo

TV3 Samoa logo Photo: tv3samoa.net

In a first of its kind in Samoa, Apia Broadcasting channel TV3 is moving its station completely online because it can no longer afford to broadcast traditionally.

The station had its final broadcast last week on Samoa's digital television platform.

General manager Michael Aisea said Samoa was a small market with many players.

"To run a TV station you need sponsors for different programmes to run the ads on our station. So having eight TV stations in a small market makes for a kind of cutthroat industry," Aisea said.

"It means you have to work hard to get sponsors for your different programmes and everyone is picking from the same pie."

Aisea said discussions about the switch with the company's directors started at the beginning of the year.

It costs 23,000 tala per month (US$8333) or 276,000 tala annually to run on Samoa's television network while online streaming was much cheaper.

"It is a new area for television in Samoa, nobody has ever tried this, we are the first ones to step into the area to see if it's going to work."

Aisea said current advertisers are committing to follow the channel online. The channels 18 staff will also remain employed.

"If you balance it out not every home has a TV but every person has a phone, that's why we decided to stream."

Aisea said TV3 creates local programmes that are in Samoan targeting a broad audience, which will continue online.