Skip to main content

Starfish Televison Network, 1 Year Later

Every couple of months it seems I hear of another television ‘network’ that is devoted to airing programming from and on behalf of nonprofits.

Inevitably the network delivers its signal entirely online. Often as not the network enjoys a flash of publicity before ultimately flaming out.

But the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c)(3) charity which broadcasts over the air (via Dish 1000, channel 9408) as well as streaming live on the Internet, is approaching the important one-year milestone.

The management at Starfish, for whom I’ve done work in the past, knows very well what the Network's shortcomings are. They need some “appointment” television shows. That is, programs so compelling viewers will come back every week to watch them. They need wider carriage. And, it goes almost without saying, they need more money.

And of course there’s the usual chicken and egg problem that all nonprofits face in their early years. They have good ideas for programs, but currently lack the money to pull them off.

But to survive even a year means Starfish has got key people and important processes in place. Moreover, the people on board at Starfish are overwhelming TV people rather than Internet people. Collectively they have a very strong idea of what quality television looks like.

And while every person there expects that in perhaps 10 years Starfish will be an Internet only network, they still have get from here to there. With all due respect to Marshall McLuhan, while the ‘medium may be the message,’ not too many people watch message television just because of the medium.

Getting the money to run Starfish is by no means inevitable. But they do have some fundraising momentum behind them.

As for the carriage issue, Starfish is challenged by the coming of HDTV in two respects. First of all, HDTV requires more bandwidth. As a result carriers that might have added Starfish to their channel lineup for free in the past are hard pressed to do so now. Secondly, rare is the nonprofit that shoots and edits their programming in high definition. Meaning Starfish will remain standard definition for the foreseeable future.

That said, the TV people at Starfish have a few tricks up their sleeves to increase carriage even in the HD world.

If your cause would benefit by having programming air on Starfish, contact Linda at 801/567-3180.

If you have scads of money you’d like to throw at a charity that benefits a world of good causes, contact Todd at the same number.

And remember, because Starfish broadcasts on-air as well as online, its potential audience is much larger than any of the Internet-only nonprofit TV networks. So your programming can be seen by a larger audience and your donations go further at the Starfish Television Network.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…