C31 Melbourne

C31 Melbourne
C31 Melbourne
C31 Melbourne Logo
Launched 6 October 1994 (1994-10-06)
Owned by Melbourne Community Television Consortium
Picture format 576i 4:3 Analogue
576i 16:9 Digital
Slogan Not your Average TV Station
Country Australia
Language English
Broadcast area Melbourne,
surrounding areas (regional areas)
Website www.c31.org.au
Analogue UHF 31 Melbourne & Geelong
UHF 64 South Yarra
SD Digital Channel 44

C31 Melbourne, formally known as Channel 31 Melbourne (call letters MGV-31), is a public television station in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


The Channel

Its signal is transmitted from Mt. Dandenong and Como Centre, South Yarra, reaching much of the Greater Melbourne, Geelong and West Gippsland areas on free-to-air television [1].

The station began broadcasting officially on 6 October 1994. The Australian Broadcasting Authority had granted Melbourne Community Television Consortium (MCTC) with a temporary open-narrowcast license on 5 March 1993. The framework of community television in Australia can be traced back to 1992, when the Government asked the ABA to conduct a trial of community television using the vacant sixth television channel (Channel 31). On 30 July 2004, the Australian Broadcasting Authority granted the station a full-time community broadcasting licence.

C31 began broadcasting in digital during June 2010.[1]

Previous C31 Logo

C31 is primarily funded through sponsorship, grants, sale of airtime and member donations. The station does not receive any regular Government funding.[2] The annual revenue of C31 is approximately (AUD) $2 million per year. For comparison, the Nine Network, an Australian commercial station, has $907 million annual revenue.[3] The station claims that "1.4 million Melbournians tune in each month" [4] this figure is supplied by the ratings company OzTam. Individual programs can have ratings of up to 180,000 viewers.

The C31 website was completely remodelled in 2009, and now offers streaming of every program they broadcast (if the producer consents).[5] C31 Melbourne is the only community television broadcast in Australia which offers this.

C31 announced to its digital service provider and officially began simulcasting from 2010 on Logical Channel Number 44. C31 officially started broadcasting in Digital during June 2010[6] with the official launch date on 11 June.[7]

There are no plans for the expansion of community TV in Regional Victoria & Tasmania in the near future.

On 27 June 2010, the community TV programming was rebranded "C31" with new logo, identities, schedule and watermark.

The C31 program schedule is a program line-up is published on its website, in most Australian electronic program guides (EPG's) and in the newspapers.

Transmission quality

C31's signal is broadcast in UHF only and at a lower power than Melbourne's other television stations (it is, for example, one quarter of SBS's output power). Nevertheless, viewers with good line-of-sight to the main transmitter on Mount Dandenong can receive a usable signal from as far away as Geelong, Castlemaine and Moe[citation needed]. There is also a translator transmitter on the Como building in South Yarra to provide in-fill for the St Kilda area; this operates on UHF 64.

Most TV sets are capable of receiving C31, although it is often not included in the factory settings. However, using a TV's automatic tuning function can tune the station in if it is able to be received. Often a signal amplifier attached to the antenna can provide a much better C31 reception.

C31 began a simulcast on digital from 28 May 2010, after being granted a digital television licence by the government. C31 is available on digital via UHF 32 in Melbourne & Geelong and UHF 66 in South Yarra.[8]

C31 transmits from the ABV-2 transmission tower on top of Mount Dandenong, Victoria, from a shared facility alongside ABC Television, SBS Television, ABC Classic FM, Triple J and others.


Channel 31 broadcasts a vast array of locally-produced content including news, sport, youth, arts, and entertainment programmes. The station also features a substantial amount of local multicultural programming, celebrating Melbourne's ethnic diversity.


Fishcam is arguably Channel 31's best-known programme. It was a pre-recorded broadcast of a fish tank located in the station's studios, set to music by independent artists.[9] It used to be live, but the station got complaints from the ACMA when there was a dead fish floating on the top of the tank for several days. It was originally shown in place of a test pattern when the station had no programming available for broadcast. After it was discovered that Fishcam was reasonably popular, Fishcam became a scheduled show and was even listed in the TV guide. Channel 31 has boasted that Fishcam is "very popular" [10] and is so widely recognized in the Melbourne community that "many people know Channel 31 as 'the fish station'." [11]

The station has previously made VHS tapes of Fishcam available for purchase. After having its timeslot continually cut back over the years to make room for more traditional programming, Fishcam finally ceased broadcasting on 4 March 2007.[12]

Other programs

  • Dollars with Sense is a half hour TV show which seeks to raise the financial literacy of the general community, with good, unbiased advice from the cream of the financial industry.
  • Morningshines is a sketch comedy program presented as a morning show for nights, hosted by Mike and Steve.
Deaf TV, one of the diverse programs on Channel 31
  • Fusion Latina[2] is a magazine style TV show that explores the passion of the Spanish and Latin American culture in Australia.
  • The Bazura Project is a movie show featuring film news, feature stories, interviews, and reviews. It is hosted by Shannon Marinko and Lee Zachariah.
  • Get Cereal TV is an hour long breakfast show produced by SYN, airing weekday mornings from 7:30.
  • Barnaby Flowers is the collective of Melbourne writers, directors and producers behind the popular C31 shows, Barnaby Flowers Comeback Special & Barnaby Flowers Bumper Bonanza a live hour long sketch show and Barnaby Flowers A Time to Talk, a satirical mock interview show.
  • Chartbusting 80's one of C31's most popular and resource-intensive studio shows.
  • Darren & Brose C31's very first live, nightly program.
  • Damon Dark is an indie science fiction programme.
  • Gasolene is a programme that showcases anything to do with petrochemical engines, auto repairs or metalworking.
  • The Inquiry is a news program with a youth oriented comedic spin.
  • Planet Nerd is a variety show for, and about, nerds and geeks. It is hosted by Dan Walmsley.
  • In Pit Lane is C31's weekly motor sports program that has run for 11 years.
  • Level 3 A video game related show that has reviews of PlayStation 2, PlayStation3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Wii and PC games.
  • Magic Dudes: As Seen On TV The made for television series show cases the sleight-of-hand magic of the performing duo, the Magic Dudes. The series was filmed in front of a live audience and was based on a pilot that first was shown on C31 Adelaide in 2004.
  • No Limits is a talk show about living with disability. It is a high-profile and popular show. Its 'politically-correct' content gives support to C31's raison d'etre.
  • Pinoy TV is a television programme which is dedicated to Filipino-Australians living in Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin. It features cooking, news and cultural events. Pinoy TV is hosted by "Ate G" (Giselle Gonzales) and "DJ Gwapz".
  • Racing Fashion TV is a series hosted by Anna Mott which focuses on fashions on the field at various horse racing events and functions around Australia.
  • Scoop tv is a weekly Melbourne comedy/talk show covering topical and entertainment news. Website
  • Sketchmen a Sydney sketch comedy show.
  • The Shambles Sketch comedy show starring Sos, Valvo & Lynchy.
  • TheatreGames LIVE is a program where a number of actors compete against each other playing improvisation and theatregames.
  • Blurb (tv show) is a book review television program featuring Misha Adair and Natasha Ludowyk.
  • The Ugly Stick a sketch comedy program featuring the ugly stick comedy troupe.
  • 1700 a live daily music show produced by SYN, with sms interaction, video clips, music news and many segments [3]
  • In Search of... a weekly documentary series
  • Paranormal Investigators Television series which looks into the paranormal as a group of people go out to often secluded locations in search of the paranormal [4]
  • GolfZone TV Golf themed TV show, featuring golf instruction, golf rules, golf product reviews, course reviews and rule interpretation. [5]
  • 4WD TV 4WD TV is an action packed program dedicated to all things four wheeling. For 4WD enthusiasts of all kinds, get up close and dirty in extreme competitions and the inside scoop on industry events with stories covering 4WD education and safety, hints and tips, trip and track reports, product tests and reviews, repairing and modifying your rigs as well as club reports, events and competitions.
  • Russian Kaleidoscope is a weekly program for the Russian Community in Melbourne. The show includes local news, interviews and Russian Documentaries. It is hosted by Dmitry Likane.
  • The Marngrook Footy Show is a indigenous AFL footy program on National Indigenous Television.
  • The Local Footy Show is local Aussie rules football show across Victoria.
  • The Wrap is a weekly live-to-air news entertainment program produced by SYN.
  • Local Knowledge is a weekly documentary series. It is hosted by Colette Werden
  • With Tim Ferguson - WTF


Many comedians, performing artists and producers worked at C31 before moving to mainstream television, these people include Rove McManus, Amy Parks, Greg Tingle, Hamish and Andy, Adam Richard, Jo Stanley, Darren Chau, Corinne Grant, Jamie McDonald and Kim Hope.

See also


  1. ^ C31 Website - About C31
  2. ^ C31 Information Kit
  3. ^ James Packer, "Chairman's Address", Publishing and Broadcasting Limited Annual General Meeting, 27 October 2005
  4. ^ C31 Website - About C31 "...with over 1.4 million Melburnians tuning in each month"
  5. ^ C31 Website
  6. ^ From What's on The Tube
  7. ^ Melbourne Community Television Consortium Ltd
  8. ^ C31 Melbourne and Geelong is going digital
  9. ^ Application to the ABA for Melbourne Community Television "From midnight there is a live camera broadcasting...with music by independent artists playing in the background."
  10. ^ Application to the ABA for Melbourne Community Television "Fishcam is a very popular and peaceful alternative to late night infomercials."
  11. ^ Channel 31's Former Fishcam Webpage (via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine) "Fishcam is one of Channel 31's most popular and recognised programs to the extent that many people know Channel 31 as 'the fish station'. To our knowledge, there is nowhere in the world where you can switch on your television to watch fish".
  12. ^ C31 : Our Shows: Show Guide

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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