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Televisió de Catalunya, S.A. (TVC), was founded in 1983 with the mission of restoring the Catalan language and culture to their rightful place. Today it is Catalonia’s main communication medium and the TV network that is most watched by the country’s citizens.
TVC follows the model adopted by public broadcasting corporations elsewhere in Europe and its programming is firmly committed to social and democratic values, pluralism, and public service. TVC mirrors the diversity and special traits of Catalan society, but it is also open to the wider world. It seeks quality and innovation and strongly differentiates its output from that of other networks. At the same time, it does everything to ensure that its programs reach as many viewers as possible. Over the years, the network has won widespread international recognition for the quality of its programs.
TVC is located in Sant Joan Despí near Barcelona on a 4.5 hectare site. There are four main buildings with a total floor area of 35,000 m2. TVC is a large producer of TV content. Its in-house production covers a wide range of genres (news programs, documentaries, sports programs, fiction, entertainment, etc.). But TVC also co-produces with private companies and has contributed to creating a thriving audiovisual industry in Catalonia.
Funding for the network is mixed. A “Contract-Program” with the Catalan government periodically establishes the amount of public funding for the network based on the various public service functions by TVC.
TVC is also pioneering interactive applications that allow viewers to access a wide range of complementary services.
Right from the start, TVC has committed itself to being present on the web. Manages the various portals and web sites, which have become a great favorite with users seeking information in Catalan on the Internet and since December 2004, through the web portal www.tv3.cat, viewers can access TV3alacarta, a service enabling the user to watch at any time on site all the programmes with Internet rights of broadcasting, as well as all live programmes with rights held by all of Televisió de Catalunya channels, namely TV3, 33, 3/24, Esport3, Super3 and TV3CAT. The programmes are sent over broadband connection links (ADSL and cable). This service overcomes geographical barriers giving viewers a new way of watching television from anywhere in the world and at any time of the day.
Televisió de Catalunya’s mission is to offer all the citizens of Catalonia quality and efficient public service broadcasting, committed to ethical and democratic principles while promoting the Catalan language and culture. Efficiency will be foremost in the management of this production and broadcasting service, while striving for maximum public acceptance.
One of Televisió de Catalunya’s main objectives is to help consolidate and expand the use of the Catalan language, culture and identity, and disseminate knowledge of Catalan culture abroad, while reflecting the diversity of contemporary society.
Televisió de Catalunya must work to reinforce the presence of Catalan audiovisual media throughout all Catalan-speaking territories. It must foster development in social and economic fields and work closely with the educational system. It must promote the development of the Catalan audiovisual industry and of audiovisual productions in Catalan. It must also provide an impetus for content employing new technologies and kinds of public communication such as Internet and mobile telephones.
All of these functions must be performed while being a reference for quality and innovation.
TV3 started its trial broadcasts on 11 September 1983 (the National Day of Catalonia) but its regular broadcasts started a few months later, on 16 January 1984. TV3 was the first television channel to broadcast only in Catalan. In 1985, TV3 expanded its coverage to Andorra, Northern Catalonia and the Valencian Community. One year later, TV3 inaugurated its new headquarters, a 4.5-hectare facility in Sant Joan Despí, near Barcelona.
Since 1987, TV3 has broadcast a second audio channel on almost all foreign-language series and movies with the original programme audio, first using the Zweikanalton system and currently using NICAM. Local series and movies are usually broadcast in NICAM stereo, although sometimes an audio narration track for blind and visually impaired viewers is provided as well.
In 1988, TV3 started a decentralisation process, first broadcasting programmes in the Aranese language for the Aran Valley and, one year later, opening branch offices in Tarragona, Girona and Lleida and creating the Telenoticies Comarques, a regional news programme broadcast simultaneously in four different editions, one for each of the four Catalan provinces.
In 2002, Televisió de Catalunya started broadcasting in the Digital terrestrial television system. It has quickly embraced technologies like the internet and mobile phones, as well as internal technological innovations.
Televisió de Catalunya's terrestrial channels are available in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands thanks to an agreement between the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Balearic Islands government. Unofficially, it can also be received in the Valencian Community (now forbidden since December 2010), Andorra, Northern Catalonia and La Franja.
TV3CAT is broadcast via satellites Astra (in Europe) and Hispasat (in Europe and the Americas). The TVCi signal is also carried by satellite platform and cable operators: Ono, Imagenio, Euskaltel, Digital+, Freebox, DigiTV, Kabel BW, Evrotur, Sofiacable and Cable Mágico.
TV3CAT is also available worldwide via its online TV service "3alacarta".
- Main article: wikipedia:TV3 (Catalonia)
TV3 is TVC's first and main channel. A generalist channel, it broadcasts news and entertainment programmes, as well as fiction series and movies, and important sports events, including La Liga football matches.
- Main article: wikipedia:TV3 HD
- Main article: wikipedia:Canal 33
TVC's second channel, 33 is a cultural channel. Its programming consists of cultural programmes, documentary film|documentaries and debates. Until 2011 and the creation of the sport channel Esport 3, it also broadcasted sport events and programmes.
Originally called just Canal 33, in 2003 it underwent a restructuring that split it into two channels that shared the same frequency: 33 and K3. While this is still true for analogical broadcasting, since December 2006, 33 has a channel of its own in digital terrestrial television.
- Main article: wikipedia:Canal Super3
Super3 is a children's and teenagers' channel, that broadcasts from 6:00 to 21:30. It broadcasts both entertainment and educational programmes, for a wide range of ages. Early morning programmes are usually directed to younger children, while the afternoon is directed more towards teenagers. It started on 18 October 2009, replacing K3.
Initially, it broadcasted from 7:00 to 21:30 and the rest of the day was broadcasting Canal 300. In September 2010, 300 was replaced by 3XL and Super3 changed its broadcasting hours (from 6:00 to 21:30).
- Main article: wikipedia:3/24
3/24 is TVC's 24-hour news channel, launched in 2003.
- Main article: wikipedia:Esport 3
Esport 3 is TVC's sports channel. It started its emission tests in October 2010 and started its regular emissions in early 2011. It broadcasts sports events (except the most important ones and La Liga football matches, that are broadcast by the main channel TV3) and sports programmes (Temps d'aventura).
- Main article: wikipedia:TV3CAT
TV3CAT (known as TVCi until June 2009) is TVC's satellite channel, launched in 1995. It broadcasts a selection of TV3 and 33 programmes, as well as fiction series and movies.