April 30, 2007

Followup from American Indian TV

We get e-mail:Good morning, Rob-–

First, thank you for including a piece on AITV in your April 14 column (Broadband IP TV is coming), which I came across by Googling first your April 15 column “Too many serious, sad stories.”

This exposure is very much appreciated as we work to bring AITV from concept to launch by the end of this year.

The question on needed equipment was interesting, and your answer (almost) accurate…so allow me to give you a detail or two more.

Receiving IPTV does not require a computer. It does require broadband, however, as the Set Top Box (STB) receives and decodes the signal sans computer and displays it on your TV screen. Neat.

You are absolutely correct about the content needing to fit the price. As this is a subscription model (tentatively $19.95/mo.), we won’t be able to hold on to subscribers--Indian or not--if we don’t have compelling content. Having visited Native film festivals and talked to Indian film makers--Thomas Harris’ remarks that the 80/20 ratio between documentaries and narratives is true--and that the content is often a bit grim. Would I go back to Desperate Housewives because of that? Hmmmm…the jury will let us know.

With that as a preface, we are very much in the hunt for “content” and would appreciate any and all connections with American Indian or Alaskan Native film makers so that we can put their most compelling pieces on our medium.

Your concern regarding the desire for dominance by certain tribes (or individuals) of AITV is well taken--and anticipated. Our intention is to have AITV 50% owned by the American Indian, with no one heavy-hitter (read: casino operating) tribe being a majority owner.

In addition, we are putting together two Advisory Boards.

The first is all-Native and drawn from people from the four directions. Our “moral compass,” so to speak. The second is Native and non-Native and is industry-representative so as to give us a depth of knowledge in Economic Development, Film, News, Medicine, etc.

Your ideas, comments and suggestions will be appreciated.

All ears, and eyes, here.

Nice resume, by the way.


Jerry Ashton
American Indian TV
245 East 19th St., Ste. 11R
New York, NY 10003


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Rob is interested in AITV from his responses, but he most assuredly is waiting until he can experience the content before he makes any kinds of judgment about the product. That is wise, as at this point in time, it still is an unknown quantity. That does not mean it is undeserving of support and subscriptions as it is getting underway. What it simply means is that 'narrowcasting' still at this time is an unproven concept. Who knows, it could become the next wave of the future, but at least it must be given its chance to prove itself or not. writerfella is as much interested as any other Native concerning this topic. We all shall be watching with baited breath...
All Best
Russ Bates

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
A great tragedy has occurred! The Peabody Collection of Native artifacts has been destroyed and burned from a great fire in their storage facilty. All more or less has become lost. But writerfella this evening has contacted the curators and volunteered to provide new copies of his TV script for the Animated STAR TREK, "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth," and any and all other artifacts that had become what he volunteered heretofore. The amazing matter is that only writerfella can do this for his own properties that became a part of their records. Now he also has the power to grant them a copy of the entire DVD of The Animated STAR TREK, and they have accepted. Prior to now, who could have predicted that such an important body would lose its archives to something as simple as a fire? Amazing how their reward to writerfella also meant that he could reward them as well in return...
All Best
Russ Bates