What if the Dive Industry could work together to produce a TV programme?

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What if the Dive Industry could work together to produce a TV programme? This could work in every country and would generate a lot of programmes for people to watch worldwide. This could be done in several ways but here are a couple of ideas based on the U.K.

Around the U.K. there are hundreds, if not thousands, of dives completed every week. With the arrival of sports cameras to suit all budgets, there is a lot of footage being taken. It’s not all good but most could be edited down into short, usable clips. Clips of a single dive site could be collated, they could then be used to create the basis for a program. Editing of potentially hundreds of clips sounds a nightmare, but if you have a local University that teaches media studies, the students could be used to do the first edit.

Reducing 40 minute videos into a clip that suits may just take a few seconds of genius or luck by the cameraman. A willing presenter can then talk to people at the dive site or on a boat near the dive site. The key to a good programme will be in the final edit, which takes time. With the amount of footage available, it would be easy to make a 30 minute programme for most sites. Due to programming styles, allowing for start and end titles and adverts, this is only two 11 minute segments. There will be more about programming later.

The U.K. has many stories and secrets to be unveiled. In 2016, I embarked on a quest to find the Darlwyne, a motor cruiser lost in 1966, with 31 people on board. The vessel was lost with no survivors. After some detective work, we knew the area to search. I found some remains of what we believe to be the Darlwyne, just one week before the fiftieth anniversary of the loss. The BBC filmed most of the process and interviewed relatives and others who remembered the event. It was then presented on TV as a whole 30 minute episode of BBC’s Inside Out.

The program shouldn’t have cost a lot to produce and was aired on BBC HD countrywide. There are many stories like this; in fact, I am working on one right now with the BBC. It only takes a small team and a half decent story to make a good and interesting programme.

I have plenty of ideas of programmess that have a wider interest but still contain diving. We have people we know who would make great presenters. Here at Atlantic Scuba, we have a multi award winning and twice BAFTA nominated cameraman/editor/producer. We even have a local University that teaches media studies. I am sure we are not the only dive centre and community in the U.K. like this; I’m sure there are probably several in similar situations in every country.

A suggestion for the U.K. and a bit about programming:

In the U.K. and throughout most of Europe, we have Sky TV. There is also Freeview in the U.K. and probably similar programming in Europe and the rest of the world. These broadcasting companies have many channels and some allow individuals to buy air time. Air time is not expensive for the smaller channels. These channels are watched by tens of thousands of people, including those representing other channels. Other channels choose to license programmes they like and show them on their own channel. This can happen more than once.

The cost of airtime can be financed by a sponsor and advertisers. An advert can be as short as 15 seconds. So where is this going? Programming is all about the financials around programming. So let’s look at the maths…

Air time on a lesser known Sky TV channel will cost roughly £1000 an hour. That hour gives you 9 minutes of advertising space to recover the costs. The programme will also be available online, to watch on-demand, after being shown. If we could make an inexpensive programme, which certainly can be done, for say around £3000, a 15 second advert would need to be sold for under £120, slightly less if there is a programme sponsor too. This would then break even.

If the programme was re-sold to another channel, then there would actually be a profit. It could even be sold to other countries. Most airtime suppliers would like a series, rather than a single programme. So six programmes would need to be made for a small series, although it does not have to be limited to any specific amount of programmes. If done worldwide, by half the countries in the world, there would be 300 hours of diving on TV globally available, based on six 60 minute programmes.

If you created a new series each year, in each country, the choice would be expansive. Any profit made by reselling, could be put into making more or better programmess, or used to refund/credit advertisers. Remember, the more diving gets seen, the more people will want to dive.

What do you think?


Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba at www.atlanticscuba.co.uk

Mark Milburn

Mark Milburn

Mark Milburn is the owner of Atlantic Scuba in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, and is an SDI/TDI/NAS/RYA Instructor and a Commercial Boat Skipper. Although often referred to as a maritime archaeologist, he prefers to call himself a wreck hunter. Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba by visiting www.atlanticscuba.co.uk.

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