Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/21/08

Colorado House of Representatives gets new TV channel
by Kathryn Dailey
The Reporter-Herald (CO)

The Colorado Channel launches today, giving viewers the opportunity to watch the Colorado House of Representatives during session…
• On cable: Comcast Cable TV channel 165
• On Comcast On Demand: For the first year Comcast will provide a limited version of the service. The proceedings will be delayed one week.
• Online: Visit the Colorado Channel Web site at

Officials to consider going into cable TV business
by Jeff Farrell
The Mountain Press (TN)

The city of Sevierville will ask Sevier County Electric System to consider going into the cable television business.  During the annual retreat in Kingsport for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city staff, Alderman Barry Gibbs asked about the possibility of providing cable service in the city.  That may not be so easy, a spokesman for privately owned Charter Communications says.  After some discussion, aldermen asked city staff to draft a resolution asking the electric system to study the feasibility of starting a cable franchise.

“I’d be real interested,” Gibbs said. “There’s an awful lot of public service opportunities.” That would include the opportunity to broadcast events like BOMA meetings.  It’s not unheard of for public utilities to start cable franchises; the city of Morristown did so in 2005, officials noted.  The Sevier County Electric System is owned by the city of Sevierville. City Administrator Doug Bishop said the agency already has technicians, utility poles and other equipment, and the county could have the population density to support the project.  “It seems like the numbers will run really strong,” he said.   —>

Mount Olive may get cable channel
Cablevision agreement would include public access spot, tech grant
by Meghan van Dyk
Daily Record (NJ)

The township would gain its own public access channel and a $25,000 boost to kick-start production if an ordinance authorizing a Cablevision franchise renewal is approved at Tuesday’s township council meeting.  The ordinance, passed unanimously by the council on its first reading last week, renews the nonexclusive Cablevision franchise that expired last year amid Verizon’s bid for a statewide franchise.

Under the franchise, Cablevision would create an exclusive Public, Educational and Governmental access channel for the township and offer a $25,000 technology grant — $7,000 up front and $2,000 a year for the next nine years — to be used for technology at the township’s discretion.  “The high school has a full-blown studio,” municipal business administrator Bill Sohl said. “Once the franchise is adopted, we will work out arrangements with them.”   —>

City Eyeing Public Access TV Options
Santa Clarita has a year to figure out a way to save public channel.
by Katherine Geyer
The Signal (CA)

The city of Santa Clarita will spend the next year figuring out how to continue providing programming on its public access channel thanks to a 2006 state law that relieves cable companies of the responsibility of operating a public access studio beginning in 2009.  Santa Clarita’s franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc. ended Jan. 2 as a part of a state law allowing cable companies to franchise with the state instead of individual cities.  Beginning in 2009, the operation of the Public, Education and Government Channel — or Channel 20 — will be the responsibility of the city.   —>

Decatur looks to formalize its cable contract with Comcast
by Mike Frazier
Herald & Review (IL)

The Decatur City Council will vote Tuesday on a cable franchise agreement with Comcast.  Insight Communications and Comcast in recent weeks completed an agreement to divide their partnership involving cable systems in the Midwest. Under the deal, Comcast assumed ownership of cable systems serving customers in Decatur and other communities in Illinois and Indiana.

The Decatur City Council in November approved a new cable franchise agreement with Insight Communications.  Under the agreement, the city will receive about $750,000 to go toward public programming over the next decade and will recover legal fees used to iron out a new agreement.

Mayor Paul Osborne said to his knowledge the details of the agreement with Comcast are essentially the same as those with Insight.  The city had been negotiating a cable franchise agreement with Insight since an agreement expired in 2003.  The city council rejected an earlier proposed franchise agreement because it lacked adequate funding for public access programming, among other shortcomings, council members said.   —>

Donations bring computers, books, basketball tourney to schools
by Shawn Regan
Eagle-Tribune (MA)

—>  The computers from Haverhill Community Television are part of an ongoing effort to bolster technology at the high school. The city’s public-access television station has also promised $100,000 to equip the high school’s new television studio with a state-of-the-art control room including production computers and cameras. The station is holding the money until the new studio is built, said Darlene Beal, executive director of Haverhill Community Television.   —>

Operators Opt For Calif. Oversight
Broadcast Newsroom

(Multichannel News) _ Operators big and small have taken advantage of California law allowing operators to replace local franchise terms with state oversight.  The state franchising law went into effect last year, but included terms that did not allow incumbent operators to drop their local franchises until Jan. 1 of this year.

New providers AT&T and Verizon Communications gained state authorization from the state Public Utilities Commission last March. Incumbents began applying in September, with Wave Broadband the first to earn state approval. Other small operators to apply have been Cableview Communications, serving Esparto, and Northland Communications, serving Mt. Shasta.

Comcast has been granted state authorization for most of its major markets, including cities and counties in its San Francisco Bay area cluster. Time Warner Cable got state regulatory authority for its systems in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County systems, among others. Cox Communications was authorized for San Diego city and county and its one Los Angeles city franchise, as well as San Marcos.  Charter Communications was granted state oversight for its major system, Long Beach, as well as other properties in the state.

Cable fee eyed by Abbottstown Borough
by Melody Asper
Evening Sun Correspondent (PA)

The Abbottstown Borough Council is considering signing a contract with Comcast Corp. so the municipality can receive a franchise fee.  That might add a bit to borough coffers, but it would come out of residents’ pocketbooks.  Councilwoman Debbie Shearer originally proposed the fee, noting Comcast’s cable lines already go through the borough but the borough does not get any financial benefit.  “Our borough has never received a franchise fee from Comcast and we are losing out on a good bit of money, even though their wires are running through the town and a lot of residents are connected,” Shearer said.

Shearer said Comcast predicted the 5 percent fee would equate to revenues of about $700 per month, or $8,400 per year.  The borough would also get free Internet service if it entered into the franchise contract. Currently, the borough pays $49.95 per month for Comcast Internet service.  However, if franchise fees are put into place, Comcast then adds that amount to each resident’s bill, Shearer said.  Shearer said that if a 5-percent fee were enacted, it would add $1.25 to a resident’s $25 bill, or $2.50 for someone who has a $50 Comcast bill.   —>

Oceola Officials Postpone Wireless Livingston Approval

Oceola Township has decided to stay out of the “Wireless Livingston” plan for now. The program intends to blanket the county with free wireless internet access by the end of 2008. Township Supervisor Bill Bamber says it came to the board’s attention that a significant source of revenue comes to the township through cable franchise fees. However a new state law says cable companies wouldn’t have to pay the fees if any other internet service provider in the area doesn’t. Bamber says the township isn’t against the Wireless Livingston project; they just want to make sure it doesn’t rush into anything they may end up regretting. (JM)

Cable to FCC: We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing
Comcast investigation sparks new complaints…
by Karl  (18 comments)
Broadband Reports

Kevin Martin’s indecency campaigns, the set-top box waiver dispute, his pro-telco franchise reform push and, most recently, the capping of ownership limits already had the cable industry complaining that the FCC boss had it out for them. With the FCC’s recent announcement that they’d be investigating Comcast’s traffic shaping practices (even if we’re not sure anything will actually come of it), it’s apparently time to dial-up the rhetoric.

“There is an agenda from a Republican chairman that is anti-free market and anti-competitive,” Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable and Telecommunication Association tells The Times of Trenton. “It is disturbing.” The FCC disagrees, insisting Martin’s campaign is about helping consumers. “Our focus is not on the welfare of a particular industry, but the welfare of consumers and insuring they receive the benefits of competition in the form of lower prices, more choice and better services,” says an FCC spokesman.   —>

Texas Community Media Summit Website
by Colin Rhinesmith
Community Media in Transition

The Texas Community Media Summit is taking place on March 1 this year at UT at Austin…  The website (built on Drupal) caught my attention because of how the content in the left sidebar is laid out. After the list the contents, including overview, summit agenda and other details, the site provides a list of TX community television stations followed by a list of TX vloggers, and TX community and free radio stations. It is great to see community television stations and vloggers highlighted next to each other within the context of community media in TX.   —>

Schmashmortion In Schmacago
by Margaret Lyons (21 comments)
The Chicagoist (IL)

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, so anti-choice protesters marched downtown yesterday and Trib editorial board members wrote syndicated columns calling abortion “evil”.  But there are pro-choice activists working throughout Chicago and Illinois, too, and today’s Trib has a story about the the Chicago Abortion Fund, a group that helps poor women pay for abortions. The CAF also works to destigmatize abortion by holding “leadership groups” and launching a public access TV show. There’s also the Midwest Access Project, which “envisions a society in which integrated, comprehensive reproductive health care is fully accessible to all.”

Watchdog journalism the key, seminar told
by Achara Ashayagachat
Bangkok Post

As mainstream media outlets in Asia struggle with corporate and state control, watchdog or citizen journalism has emerged as a powerful new movement in recent years, leading Filipina journalist Sheila Coronel said yesterday. Globalisation and market forces have opened up Asian media since the 1980s like never before. The introduction of television sets in Asian households and, later, the availability of the internet has had both good and bad impacts on journalism, said Ms. Coronel, director of Columbia University’s Centre for Investigative Journalism,  She was speaking at an East-West Centre conference on ”Changing Dynamics in the Asia Pacific” yesterday.   —>

Pakistan’s Geo News, Geo Super back on cable

KARACHI: People have enthusiastically welcomed resumption of Geo News and Geo Super transmissions on cable.  A ceremony held in Geo offices at I.I. Chundrigar Road Monday, which was attended by hundreds staff members of the television network.  People from various walks of life have welcomed restoration of Geo News transmissions on cable. The students of Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad have said Geo News returning back a key progress towards access to information in the country.   —>

Visual artists on copyright reform
Visual and media artists join forces with fellow creators in developing copyright platform

In anticipation of revisions to the Canadian Copyright Act, Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), le Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec (RAAV) and our affiliates have been working to prepare a platform document as partners in the Creators’ Copyright Coalition (CCC).  Highlights of the platform for the visual and media artists community will include:

1) Ratifying the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (WCT), which includes allowances, where necessary, to protect both the rights of users and creators;
2) Improving compliance and recognition of the Reproduction Right;
3) Improving compliance and recognition of the Exhibition Right;
4) Amending of Canadian Copyright Act to include droit de suite, or resale right;
5) Reinforcing and expanding the licensing responsibilities of copyright collectives in the digital environment;
6) Extending protection and reaffirming creators’ Moral Rights;
7) Affording photographers, printmakers and portrait artists the same rights as other visual and media artists.

compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable franchising, cable vs telco, citizen journalism, copyright, fair use, FCC, freedom of the press, government access, high school television, Kevin Martin, municipal ownership, municipal programming, PEG access TV, press freedom, public access television, televised state legislatures, video franchising

One Comment on “Community Media: Selected Clippings – 01/21/08”

  1. […] upto12 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptOn cable: Comcast Cable TV channel 165 • On Comcast On Demand: For the first year Comcast will provide a limited version of the service. The proceedings will be delayed one week. • Online: Visit the Colorado Channel Web site at … […]

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