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Robinson to launch new cable TV channel

Published:Friday | August 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Media entrepreneur Kimani Robinson. - File

Tameka Gordon, Business Reporter

Local cable television producer Kimani Robinson is hoping to gain another foothold in the market through his tourism-focused television channel, Jamaica Travel Channel (JTC), to be introduced on the Flow network in September.

Robinson, who sold off his first concepts, JNN and RETV to the RJR Group of Companies in 2008, is piloting the product through his newly formed company, Inspire Media Limited.

"Inspire Media is the holding company and then (we) will contract a local company to execute the production for it," Robinson told Financial Gleaner in a telephone interview on Thursday.

The holding company, he said, is registered in St Lucia and is currently negotiating with other local production houses to formulate content in time for full production.

"We are in discussions with a couple of local production houses to execute some of the production that will be needed for the channel. I will also be producing content myself," he said, noting that Inspire Media will be working closely with the contracted production houses on the final content to be aired.

JTC will also earn revenue through the sale of infomercials, Robinson adds.

"The company is set up to facilitate companies advertising through infomercials on the platform which is heavily infomercial-based, though we will have quite a bit of in-house content," said Robinson.

He said unlike the typical television programming mix of 24 minutes of content with six minutes of advertisements, Inspire Media will run the reverse "where it will probably be more 24 minutes of advertisements and six minutes of content in every half-hour." This, he said will push the channels appeals to advertisers.

"The channel will showcase video content from all stakeholders in the tourism industry, exhibiting much of what Jamaica has to offer and enabling a visitor to discover all they will be able to experience while visiting the island," the company said it its media release.

JTC will be available in approximately 25,000 hotel rooms, representing just about 90 per cent of all hotel rooms in Jamaica.

Comment sought from Michael Look Tong, the director of Media Services at Flow Jamaica, was not immediately available.

Although hotels will not be able to advertise on the platform, JTC will encourage guests to use their hotel's concierge or their hotel's local partnering tour operators to book the services being showcased, Inspire Media said in its release.

JTC will air content for 24 hours daily, according to Robinson, who declined to discuss the level of investment in the new venture.