Quietly and with little fanfare, Mad River Valley Television in Waitsfield has emerged as one of the state’s most visible and digitally present public access television channels, helped along by a communications strategy that includes investing in a brand new high definition production studio, and attention to leveraging new digital communications platforms like YouTube and other social media. MRVTV now boasts more than 2,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel, with close to 100 published videos and more than three million total minutes viewed over the past two years.
Additionally, the station has garnered a quarter million views from its webcam which frames Waitsfield’s iconic covered bridge and the Mad River.
“MRVTV has evolved and adapted to a multi-screen environment in which people are viewing more video on mobile devices, successfully leveraging short form video and live programming on YouTube to reach more subscribers than other public access channels in Vermont,” explained MRVTV executive director Keith Berkelhamer. “MRVTV’s vision for the future is to continue to think outside of the box and use cutting edge content delivery platforms to build an even larger community of viewers willing to contribute more digital and TV content.”
“We have had a lot of success engaging with people via live video streaming on both Facebook and YouTube and we want to continue to connect with people in unique ways to remain relevant in the future,” added Berkelhamer.
“We’ve come so far in a very short period of time, and the best is yet to come,” explained MRVTV board member Rob Williams, who also has produced more than 50 episodes of his Plan V-TV show at the MRVTV studio. “In a time of rampant ‘fake news’ and near universal distrust in corporate commercial TV ‘news’ outlets, community cable TV outlets like MRVTV are offering authentic, genuine grassroots programming that reflects the diverse and varied stories emerging out of our Vermont communities like the four towns here in the Mad River Valley.”
"MRVTV is a way for the community to share on a local and global level at the same time. Content becomes retrievable, shareable, and our audience is growing as a result. The support from Waitsfield Cable throughout this online expansion and HD upgrade has been amazing," noted MRVTV board member Liz Levey. "The global/local connection is a win-win for viewers and the community at large -- micro-media at its best!
Mad River Valley Television was founded in 1998 by a handful of like-minded citizens who felt that the hard work of The Valley’s elected officials should be more widely known. Initially MRVTV had one channel, Channel 44, and covered primarily select board and school board meetings. In the ensuing years, MRVTV has expanded its coverage to include extensive happenings in the community, well beyond the public, education and government coverage envisioned in the enabling legislation.
Board members include founder and board president Lisa Loomis, founding board member Brian Shupe, Liv Levey, Dan Eckstein, Rob Williams, John Daniell, Ian McIntyre and Ilsa Sigmond.
MRVTV staff and board of directors recently completed the conversion from standard definition to high definition, creating a viewing experience that is cleaner, clearer and sharper.
For more information about MRVTV, visit https://mrvtv.com.