from "The Sunraysia Daily", 1 July 1997


Mildura will today become the final link in Prime Television's expansion throughout regional Victoria.

Transmissions of Prime Television programs is due to begin at 6am today after three days of testing and months of installation work at the Yatpool tower.

Prime will officially launch the service with an invitation-only riverboat cruise on July 14, where a number of station celebrities are expected to make an appearance.

Prime TV Victorian general manager, Doug Edwards, in Mildura on the eve of the first program transmissions, said the launch of Prime in Mildura was an exciting time for the company.

"From the people we have been speaking to, they felt that they had been missing out on having the choice of a second commercial television station," Mr Edwards said.

"There has been an enormous amount of work done to accomplish the move and the result will be choice for the people of Mildura," he said.

"Everywhere we go people have been so eager to get Prime up and running.

"I think it will be very well received in Mildura."

Prime Mildura manager, Geoff McKay, yesterday said transmission tests began at the weekend to allow residents the opportunity to tune their television sets and video recorders into the service.

He said people should wait until they had tuned into Prime before they bought another TV antenna.

Mr McKay said that while the reception on his own television in Mildura was fine, other areas of the city could have had an improved reception or possibly worse.

He said that because the district was not rough terrain, transmission from the Yatpool tower could be successful throughout much of the region.

The service will broadcast on UHF channel 32.

Prime purchased the Sunraysia television licence for more than $3 million in an open auction conducted by the Australian Broadcasting Authority last year.

The auction followed a lengthy process of hearings on the method of allocating the licence to the area.

Prime Television's new office in Deakin Avenue is expected to be completed and operational early next week with five full-time staff.

The company is expected to conduct a local survey of residents within the next year to ascertain the station's popularity in the district.

The survey will involve people recording in a diary their daily television viewing patterns over a two-week period.


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