by Alexia Bos Solé in Barcelona
Next week a new local TV channel called ‘Catalan TV’ will start broadcasting in Alguer (Sardinia), becoming the first TV channel broadcasting in Catalan to the Catalan speakers on the island. ‘Catalan TV’ is a private initiative which will start broadcasting six hours per day, 50% in Catalan and 50% in Italian.
According to the Catalan daily AVUI, the manager of Catalan TV, Domènico Giorico said that the objective is “to promote among the population of Alguer Catalan language and culture”.
To begin with, this new TV channel will broadcast serials, cartoons and documentaries released by the Catalan TV Televisió de Catalunya (TVC) for free as a collaboration agreement.
Mr. Giorico also assured that the broadcasting hours will be increased up to nine hours in September 2004 and up to sixteen hours by next year. In addition, in September a daily news programme will be offered.
The project of ‘Catalan TV’ is the outcome of an initiative of Mr. Giorico and two of his brothers. Although his generation does not speak Catalan, Mr. Giorico explained to the Catalan media that his parents did. He also stressed that the current generation of children in Alguer speak Catalan, and for this reason he thought of the positive impact of creating a local private TV channel.
Before starting the project, a survey among the population of Alguer was carried out. Mr. Giorico said that the survey showed that most of the population were fully supportive of creating a new bilingual TV channel in Catalan and Italian.
According to the information published in l’AVUI, 40% of the population of Alguer (50,000 inhabitants) speak Catalan. According to Giorico, ‘Catalan TV’ will broadcast for all the territory of l’Alguer and the neighbouring towns (12,000 inhabitants approximately).