Procedures for Setting Up a Satellite Television Station

By Jade Blue

Satellite television was initially created to provide entertainment in areas not serviced by cable companies. Hundreds of channels exist, most of which offer infomercials. If you set up a satellite television station, you should provide viewers with programming they cannot get anywhere else. Getting your station established will require financial commitment.


Modern television stations can operate in a traditional studio or a "studioless" environment. Studioless enterprises have no sets and all programming is recorded in another location.

A typical studio requires cameras, lighting, audio consoles, videotape recorders, video switchers, electronic field production and post-production editing equipment and special effects.

A studioless operation requires intercoms, floor monitors, electrical outlets, program and preview monitors, audio speakers, clocks and video switchers. In addition, an audio control room fitted with an audio console, cart machine, digital recording and playback technology and audio-enhancing equipment is required.


A new channel must purchase bandwidth from an existing satellite provider. Companies are increasingly restrictive about new channels and premiums are charged for large viewership markets. A new station also must purchase programming and licensing. These fees range from a few hundred dollars for shows produced by unknown talent to thousands for more established programming.

Target Audience

A new satellite station must develop a target audience. Kids, teens and alternative lifestyles are just some examples of niche programming possibilities. The station must have an angle that keeps bringing viewers back. Larger viewership equals more options for advertisers. Use satellite TV to take greater programming risks, presenting controversial or unique programming to attract viewership in a competitive market. Fewer restrictions on satellite programming allow for greater creativity.


Having the right staff can make or break your station. Hire those familiar with satellite entertainment to equip your channel with the tools for success. Assign advertising and programming purchases to specialists. A master control technician keeps the television studio running and documents programming problems. An engineer keeps studio designs current. Hire a company that leases satellite bandwidth for television stations. The more bandwidth a station has, the larger the potential viewing audience. Monitor employees to make sure all tasks are completed on schedule.