Southeastern Channel programs to be shown to a million viewers statewide
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Original television programs produced by the Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s Emmy-winning educational cable channel, have been selected by the Louisiana Office of Tourism for viewing by over a million Louisiana visitors each year.
The programs were chosen by the state to air in all 13 of the state’s welcome centers located at each major highway entry and stopping point in Louisiana.
“Louisiana State Emblems,” an episode of the nature series, “Backyard Wonders,” and a pair of episodes from the Emmy-nominated history series, “The Florida Parishes Chronicles,” began showing at the welcome centers in late December.
Welcome centers displaying the videos are located at Slidell (I-10 Westbound), Pearl River (I-59 Southbound), Kentwood (I-55 Southbound), Capitol Park on the state capitol grounds in Baton Rouge, New Orleans (St. Anne St.), Atchafalaya (I-10), Vinton (I-10 Eastbound), Alexandria (I-49), Greenwood (I-20 Eastbound), Mound (I-20 Westbound), the Vidalia Riverfront Center, and St. Francisville (U.S. 61 South).
The Southeastern Channel videos include promotional spots for the university woven between the full-length programs.
“This is unprecedented exposure on a daily basis for both the university and the Southeastern Channel at major viewing points throughout the entire state on a daily basis,” said channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “We’re extremely honored to be selected by the Louisiana Office of Tourism and very appreciative of the opportunity.”
The programs will continue running daily at each welcome center on an annual basis. The Office of Tourism anticipates a record number of Louisiana visitors this year, as 2010 saw Mardi Gras alone draw over 55,000 visitors.
“We passed the 1.2 million mark for 2010 on Nov. 30,” said Nancy Broussard, welcome center program director for the Louisiana Office of Tourism. “Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we anticipate that many or more visitors signing the guest books at our 13 centers in 2011.”
Broussard said that the Office of Tourism came up with the idea after a welcome center supervisor viewed Southeastern programs on Charter Cable Channel 18. Some sample programs were then submitted to the tourism office in Baton Rouge, and the decision was made to show them statewide.
“We found the production qualities and storytelling to be such that it would provide entertainment for visitors taking a break from the road, as well as an enticement for travelers to see and do something they may not have considered already while in the state,” Broussard said.
“The videos will help pique the visitors’ interest in Louisiana’s roads less traveled and help draw visitors to less well-known parts of the state,” Broussard added.
The Southeastern Channel reaches a potential audience of 250,000 on Charter Cable Channel 18 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Livingston parishes and on Channel 17 in Washington Parish. The channel’s live 24-7 webcast can be seen at www.selu.edu/tv. Viewers from 47 different states and 46 countries, including U.S. soldiers in Iraq enrolling in telecourses, visit the channel’s website each month. The channel is also on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.