Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Presenter: Josh Havens

30th Anniversary of the TPWD Public Broadcast System TV Series
November 3, 2016

I.       Executive Summary:  Staff will brief the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission about the 30th Anniversary of the Texas Parks and Wildlife weekly television series, current audiences reached and future plans. Not many locally-produced television series remain on the air for 30 years, and in the realm of state government there are no records to be found of any local government television series that has been as long lived. The Media Productions and Marketing teams just concluded a yearlong marketing campaign with a story idea competition that generated new viewers and story ideas.

II.     Discussion:  For 30 consecutive years the TV series has reached millions of viewers with messages about conservation and outdoor recreation. More than a hunting and fishing show, the agency’s Public Broadcast System (PBS) series explores in-depth issues about conservation and the environment and promotes fun family activities in the outdoors. For 30 minutes each week, the series motivates viewers to get outside, and it educates people about current issues and what Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is doing to address them.

For the show’s 30th Anniversary, TPWD celebrated with a contest that was designed to engage current viewers, reach new viewers and generate story ideas. More than 900 story ideas were submitted, and after reading every entry, the show producers picked a winning idea titled “Snorkel Texas.” The winner and his family will appear in a story based on this theme that will air in next year’s TV season.

Currently the television series can be seen on all but one of the 12 Texas PBS stations, all of PBS in Oklahoma, and other public television stations around the country. People can also catch the show on about 60 city government and educational access cable TV channels across Texas. And they can watch the show anytime via expanding online platforms such as PBS Online and the TPWD YouTube Channel.

As video viewing via the Internet continues to increase, the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series is expanding to new outlets. We are currently working on creating our own Roku and AppleTV channels which will allow more on-demand viewers to access the show.