How to Create a Television Channel

By John Yargo ; Updated September 15, 2017

Television channels range from breaking-news networks like CNN and Fox News to entertainment channels like Bravo to special-focus networks like the NFL Network. If you can cultivate an underdeveloped niche--an area that other channels have not explored enough--you have a distinct advantage in creating and developing your television channel.

Create a business plan for your television channel. You need to have a firm sense of when to expect profitability, how much to charge, how much original programming you need, and how much advertising is required. You need short-term and long-term creative and business goals. You should secure the appropriate funding with your business plan by bringing in co-financiers or taking out a business loan.

Submit an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for television bandwidth. The application requires your business address, an agreement to any possible future fines, and compliance with equal opportunity laws. You should receive a receipt of the application submission in the mail. The application process includes a high fee, which varies depending on the location, and an auction process in which you must bid on the bandwidth.

Apply for state and city business licenses. Consider establishing the channel as a limited-liability corporation (LLC) to protect your personal assets.

Hire personnel for the television channel. You need a creative programming director, an advertising staff, a legal department, and business management personnel. Each of these individuals will be charged with realizing the short-term and long-term goals of your channel.

Create original programming for your television channel. Acquire the ancillary rights for syndication, which is the rebroadcast of shows that have previously aired on other networks. The balance between syndicated and original television shows will depend on your business plan.

Work out a deal with cable-television providers like DirectTV and Cox Communication. The fee that you receive from the cable-television provider varies. For instance, the sports network ESPN receives $5 from each person who pays for cable.

About the Author

John Yargo is a sports writer, living in Orlando, Fla. His work regularly appears in the "Jackson Free Press," and he has published articles on theater, fiction and art history. He has also received a master's degree in English.