Together TV inspires social change through entertaining content – by showing real-life stories, activities and social issues that promote participation in national campaigns and causes. By encouraging people to get involved in causes and initiatives that offer relevant, practical and achievable things to do, the channel promotes healthier lifestyles, improved mental wellbeing and increased social connections amongst its viewers.
In 2000, Media Trust set up the Community Channel as the UK’s first television channel for social action and community stories, inspiring viewers to change their lives and engage with their communities.
Around 2015, the board took the strategic decision to focus on its core activities and it was time for the Community Channel to fly the nest. In July 2016, a community share issue was launched through the crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder, which not only enabled the Channel to financially exit from the charity but also become the UK’s first national people-owned TV channel.
Over £390k was raised through a mix of shares and donations from over 300 organisations and individuals, with significant support coming from Sky, the Big Lottery Fund and Barrow Cadbury Trust. Some individual shareholders claimed Social Investment Tax Relief on their investments in the Channel.
Community Channel reconstituted as a charitable Community Benefit Society in September 2016. Two years later, the Channel re-branded as Together TV. www.togethertv.com
TV advertising generates around 90% of the Together’s income. The remainder comes from commercial deals and a small amount of fundraising and donations.
Together TV currently reaches 15-20 million viewers a year across the UK through its TV channel and tens of millions globally through social media.
Together TV is on Freeview 89, Sky 194, Virgin 269 and Freesat 164, along with being streamed, on-demand on My5 and social videos on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and DailyMotion.
The community raise was instrumental to becoming independent from Media Trust. It gave us the working capital we needed to reconstitute as a Community Benefit Society, separate operationally and provide the platform to eventually re-brand and re-boot. It took us three years to develop a financial sustainable model which has seen us move from 70% funded to 90% trading.
For investors that bought higher amounts of shares, between £500 and £10,000 worth of shares, Social Investment Tax Relief was very attractive in order to secure their investment.
– Alex Kann, Chief Executive, Together TV