The beginnings of Inline Plus (2005 to 2007)

Inline Plus was conceived when Michael Costello was learning to Inline Skate in 2005 with Bayside Blades, as an adult learner.  Michael had already been a long-term volunteer with Northern Access Television at the time.  A pilot episode was produced in 2007, but  it was aired by C31 Melbourne and Adelaide in a “weekday daytime timeslot”.  It is fair to say that Michael was running on new found vigour from just completing skating lessons, and convinced that the concept would grow and be the next “big thing” (what producer doesn’t think this way!), he attempted to form the “Inline Sports Media Co-operative” as a group to produce the content, and other videos.  Needless to say, we didn’t achieve this.   However, under the banner of Northern Access Television Assn Inc, the TV show aspect rolled on……..

And yes, Michael admits to driving a few people mad during this period.  What goes up must come down, and a bout of depression would take over.  A new direction was required to save the project, under new management.

Inline Plus series 1 (2008)

The show took on a different look and feel under a new producer, John Powell, with Michael assisting him in the task by becoming the “compile editor” and “tape dubber” for the program.  The show then widened its view to include more aspects of Inline and Roller Skating.  The show featured fully edited and produced segments by “Rolaboi” Jayson Sutcliffe – covering the Artistic Skating area, and other developments saw us covering the rapidly developing area of Roller Derby, which became a special focus for the series.

Inline Plus series 1 aired on Community TV in mid 2008 (except in Perth, where it was aired later in 2010 on the then-new WTV).  The show had its “ups and downs” during its run, which led to a decision to “cut back” production from 13 to 7 episodes.  And until recently, this is where things stood.

“Know Rolling” (2008)

Early on, it was realised that the style of show we were going to produce would not work so well to cover Aggressive Inline Skating.  A number of people expressed interest to us in covering this aspect.  In the end, it was decided to “split” our timeslot between “Inline Plus”, and an extra 10 minute program, known as “Know Rolling”.  Produced for us by Craig Smith, this additional program proved popular with its target audience.

Attempts at revival

There were at least three or four attempts by Michael to revive “Inline Plus” over the years since the show was produced.  All for various reasons, the timing never seemed to be right for the show to come back.  Sadly, most of the presenters and crew from the first series have all decided to “move on”, as has our previous sponsor and their staff members.

The most recent attempt to start a new series (2018/2019)

Feeling a new energy for the concept, Michael again tried to revive production of a TV series in 2018.  Then a bomb shell was dropped, that his parents had decided to move to Echuca, on the Victorian/NSW border.  Soon he realised that trying to string a series together while based in Echuca was not going to work, mainly for financial and long-travel reasons.  While production commenced on the series, it was quickly halted again.  A new plan was again needed (not for the first time in the history of this project!)

The launch of the “Specials” concept (2019)

After discussions with our main broadcaster, C31 Melbourne, it was decided that the show should go towards a new “Specials” format, produced from time to time as stories and time permitted.  We are now working along these lines, towards “single topic” stand-alone episodes of the program.  The new format will see topics covered in depth in a full half hour episode, rather than the “magazine” format previously used.

One last look back…… Inline Plus Revisited (2019)

To assist with the launch of the new production format, a special “look back” episode was produced.  Called “Inline Plus Revisited”, the show aired the best of our stories from the 2008 series in a bumper one hour special.  This show aired on C31 Melbourne and 44 Adelaide in early 2019.

The future

With decisions made about the future format of the show, it is now time to begin planning the new one off standalone specials.  Production activities will be carried our in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, with the possibility of other locations joining the show as it progresses.  Please keep an eye of this site for further details on what is produced, and when the new shows will air.

Other developments will see the addition of Live Streams of Skating Events to our YouTube channel.  These will be developed as groups express interest in this form of coverage.

At the time of writing, the future of Community Television in Australia is uncertain.  At this stage, the three remaining stations, C31 Melbourne, 44 Adelaide and WTV Perth have permits to stay on air until the end of June 2020.  Obviously, developments in this area will have a big bearing on our future as well.  However, we will continue as an online video maker if the stations are shut down.  We will also try to get all proposed episodes finished before the closure deadline.

We obviously hope that Community Television continues, but at the moment, we are all uncertain.