Native American Television Shoots For Media Launch

The 500-channel TV universe may get bigger. That's the current plan from a Washington-area group, which hopes to launch Native American Television some time this year.

The nonprofit NATV is trying to raise the estimated $4 million it would take to launch a media operation with a radio, Web, and cable television network targeting Native Americans. The group has a potentially wealthy donor base in Indian tribes that have been successful with casino operations.

The target audience is modest--about 3 million Native Americans, although NATV officials are hopeful the programming will have broader appeal. Officials are uncertain whether the network would be ad-supported.

Once the money is raised and a programming plan and overall strategy are in place, NATV officials seek distribution from cable operators, with a likely initial focus on areas with large Native American populations such as California, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

News of the potential network, which would feature news specials, cooking shows, documentaries, and stand-up, was first reported by the Associated Press.



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