Page last updated at 11:43 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Millionth viewer for community TV in Monmouthshire
MONTV trainer Mickey Richardson and colleague
MONTV provides training opportunities as well as coverage of local life

A local internet TV station in south Wales has hit its first major landmark in under two years.

MONTV registered its first millionth visitor when a viewer in Asia logged onto the site last weekend.

It was launched in February 2008 as one of the UK's first broadband community TV channels, serving Monmouthshire and the Wye Valley.

Based at Monmouth Community Centre the station produces a weekly news show and short films about local life.

MONTV is the brainchild of directors Carles Riba and Richard Waterstone who came up with the project whilst playing golf in May 2004.

The station has assistance from people from all sections of the broadcast and print media, along with a host of volunteers.

Many of the station's short films are produced by students undertaking courses provided by the MONTV Academy.

MONTV website
A weekly news programme is one of MONTV's main attractions

Some of these students have since obtained jobs with regional television companies.

Director Richard Waterstone said the station had trained more than 30 people this year alone, and paid tribute to their contribution.

"We'd like to thank all the volunteers who've done so much to make MONTV such a terrific channel and community resource," he said.

"Most have come in with little idea how to make a film and have left two months later with a fantastic piece of work under their belts," he added, referring to students on their course.

"The best thing is that rather than having something on a DVD that's just put in a drawer and left to get lost in all the clutter, most of the films are actually broadcast on MONTV for all their friends, families and local community - and wider world - to watch and enjoy."

While most films shown on MONTV focus on the activities of the people and towns of Monmouthshire, there are occasions when the station attracts a worldwide audience.

Rob Fairlie of MONTV
Focus on the community - Rob Fairlie filming for MONTV

In October the station's news editor Andy Sherwill covered the effects of Typhoon Ketsana on the Philippines.

Another of the station's recent highlights was capturing the atmosphere for the premiere of Peter Watkins-Hughes' film A Bit Of Tom Jones that was screened at Monmouth's Savoy Theatre.

Carles Riba was inspired to launch MONTV after seeing the success of internet TV in his native Spain.

He said the station's aim was now to attract a million visitors every month with plans to expand throughout south Wales.

"Fabulous achievement, this is for everyone involved at MONTV, and a huge boost for the future of broadband television," he said.

The station is supported by grants given by the Welsh Assembly and other organisations.

Plans have been drawn up to set up similar operations throughout Wales.

It is also hoped that MONTV will be available on Freeview following the switch over to digital television.

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