Archive for the ‘VOD’ category

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government September 17th Hearing on PEG Access TV, in YouTube Clips

September 21, 2008

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We thank the House staff and the staff of DCTV for their work in making this footage available.  Persons interested in cablecasting this hearing on their communities’ PEG access channels may obtain a copy by contacting the Alliance for Community Media at 202-393-2650 x 12.  Also, the whole hearing is available for viewing in one online file at http://blip.tv/file/1278920/ .

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01: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Opening Statement (pdf)

In his opening statement Chairman Serrano expressed support for PEG access, explaining the purpose of the 1984 federal law that gave local franchising entities the authority to require PEG access channels.  “By granting this authority,” Serrano said, “Congress recognized that PEG programming is in the public interest and essential to our communties as an outlet for free speech, local information and opinions, and emergency communications.  PEG supports our democratic ideals by helping to develop a well-informed and educated society.  It benefits all of us to support and encourage PEG programming.”

Chairman Serrano also explicitly took AT&T to task for declining to attend the hearing.  “AT&T’s recent action relating to PEG channels goes to the heart of many of the concerns that will be raised today.  Let the record show that I consider their decision not to send a witness to be indicative of the company’s apparent disregard of the importance of PEG to local communities.”
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Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) & Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R)

02: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R) Opening Statement

In the absence of the Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Regula (OH-R), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-R) made the opening statement for the minority.  He strongly reinforced the Chairman’s comments on AT&T, and the importance of PEG access.  “If there was any thought by AT&T that the Republican member here at the hearing would help them out, let me disabuse them now,” Kirk said.

Kirk continued, “I think this committee should take some action on this.  It does appear that AT&T is in direct violation of Illinois law, and so, whether it is in Springfield or in Washington, we should fix this to make sure that there is a very convenient place, especially for our seniors, to find what’s happening in their local community… I breeze through local access cable like everyone else does, except when we’re doing a zoning or other issue related to my neighborhood, and then we are locked on this like everyone else.”
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03: Monica Desai, FCC Media Bureau Chief, Testimony (pdf)

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04: Barbara Popovic, Alliance for Community Media, Testimony – (Written-pdf) (Oral-pdf)

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05: Howard Symons, National Cable Television Assoc., Testimony (pdf)

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06: Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet, Testimony (pdf)

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07: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions – Territories

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08: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions

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09: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions

Rep. Kirk asked Monica Desai, “What are your plans to implement your testimony from the Commission, to make sure that AT&T is forced to bring PEG back to the basic – so that they have a channel, somewhere between 1 and 100, on the basic service tier, and are not exiled to on-demand?”  Desai replied, “I would be anxious to place this issue in front of the Commissioners for them to decide, with our view that this would be a violation of the statute.  But what we would need is to have a specific and formal complaint filed in front of us.  We would need something to act on.”
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10: Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-D); Questions

Rep. Kilpatrick made mention of the Michigan law suit enjoining Comcast from channel slamming, then said, “I don’t want to see PEG relegated to some substandard something.  It ought to be right up there with the other major channels.  And whatever we have to do to get it there — it sounds like it’s a regulatory something, as well as a people something — and if we have to mobilize America to educate them to what it is, I think we have to do that.”

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11: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions

Rep. Hinchey asked about possibly establishing minimum levels of support for PEG access.  “I have a public access station back in my district, in the city of Binghamton,” Hinchey said, “that unfortunately is not provided with the facilities and training by its cable service providers.  So I’m wondering what you think could be done so that the Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to enforce perhaps a federal minimum of financial support that could be provided by cable service providers, so that rural areas generally have the same capability for public access as do larger cities?”

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12: Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D); Questions

"Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky to NCTA's Howard Symons: "Oh, don't say that!"

Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN-D) asked questions of Howard Symons about the cable industry’s commitment to community service.  In response to a question about Comcast’s closing of studios following passage of Indiana’s statewide video franchising law, Symons said: “You know, Congressman, the cable industry didn’t ask the state legislatures to change the law.”  Visclosky instantly replied, “Oh, don’t say that!  Don’t say that! I would suggest that that is not a correct statement — to be polite.”
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13: Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D); Questions

Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-D) questioned Ms. Desai’s mention of the FCC’s requiring a formal complaint

“I’m surprised that it really requires that.  I would think if you have an oversight responsibility in this area, and you see major companies who are not complying with the statute, that you have the authority on your own to take action, to communicate with the companies that this does not meet the requirements of the statute.”
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14: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

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15: Michael Max Knobbe Answers Chairman Serrano

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16: Acting Ranking Member Mark Kirk (IL-R); Questions, Round 2


Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai if a joint letter from the Committee would help the FCC expedite an inquiry into these matters.  “I would be willing to sign a letter, with the Chairman, to you, saying, ‘Hey, get on the case here.’  Is that enough for you to get rolling?”

Ms. Desai answered, “I’m sure a letter from you and Chairman Serrano would be taken… act on it post haste.”
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17: Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-D); Questions, Round 2

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18: Chairman Jose Serrano (NY-D) Closing Statement

“We stay committed to the commitment I made before to Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the issues that have been discussed here will be placed by this Committee officially in a formal fashion before the FCC, to make sure that we begin to look at the whole issue and how best we can stick to the intent of the law, notwithstanding some changes that have taken along the way.”
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
http://alliancecm.org

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Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/04/08

February 6, 2008

Cable Franchise Hearing is this Thursday !
by Zenaida Mendez
Manhattan Neighborhood Network (NY)
02/04/08

On Thursday, February 7, 2008 all those who support Free Speech, the First Amendment and alternative media need to attend a hearing from 3pm-7pm at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

As part of the Franchise renewal process between the City of New York and TimeWarner Cable, a public hearing will be held to allow NYC residents an opportunity to voice their views and concerns regarding the cable franchise we will all be living with for the next 10 to 15 years. It is extremely important that our public officials hear loud and clear that Public Access provisions are critically important to our community and that continued and expanded support for the needs and interests of Manhattan residents must be included in any franchise agreement that is reached.   —>
http://www.mnn.org/en/cable-franchise-hearing-thursday
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Cable Hearing Reveal Strong Support for BRONXNET
by Osjua Newton
Lehman College Meridian (NY)
02/04/08

A panel from the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) assembled at Hostos Community College on January 17. They sought public testimony regarding Cablevision, the current cable company in The Bronx, for the first of several hearings throughout the city to discuss cable television franchise renewals.

As Cablevision nears the end of their 10-year agreement with the city to provide service in the borough, the 5-hour hearing was aimed at gathering feedback on four key subjects: first, whether Cablevision has been operating within the terms of its contract; second, whether their signal quality and billing were adequate; third, whether they could meet the community’s future cable-related needs; and last, whether they are fiscally and technologically capable of providing services for future projects.

However, the topic most echoed at the podium was a call to increase funding and support for The Bronx based public access television network, BRONXNET.  “Certainly it was helpful for us to see how the community feels about BRONXNET,” said DoITT panel member Radhika Karmarkar. She added that the topics discussed during this, and future hearings, will be considered during the negotiations.   —>
http://media.www.lcmeridian.com/media/storage/paper806/news/2008/02/04/News/Cable.Hearing.Reveal.Strong.Support.For.Bronxnet-3182355.shtml
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Naifeh rebuts Bredesen’s AT&T/Cable comments
by John Rodgers (3 comments)
Nashville City Paper (TN)
02/04/08

House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh today appeared to refute comments from Gov. Phil Bredesen that the speaker’s approach to finding a compromise between AT&T and the cable industry over television franchising wouldn’t work.  “I respectfully disagree,” Naifeh (D-Covington) said after being read Bredesen’s comments during a hastily called news conference this afternoon.   —>
http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=58715
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New laws aim to help TV customers get good service
Providers face competition, fines
by Laura Girresch (9 comments)
News-Democrat (IL)
02/04/08

Under two state laws passed last summer, companies can get a statewide license to provide television service — creating competition for local cable companies — and metro-east communities now can use the threat of fines to ensure customers are treated right.  Hoping to make protecting television customers easy, Belleville passed an ordinance last month that gave the city direct power to enforce good customer service, in accordance with the state laws.

One state law, the Cable and Video Customer Protection Law, says local governments and the Illinois attorney general can fine television companies for not telling customers how their rates will change after a promotion, disconnecting service for repairs for more than 24 hours, and only providing service where they can make the most money.  “It gives us an extra avenue to enforce or review or have some leverage to get customers the service they deserve,” Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert said.   —>
http://www.bnd.com/business/story/246478.html
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Unscripted Ending
The picture gets blurry for public access television.
by Josh Goodman
Governing
02/08

Every Monday evening for more than a decade in Portage, Indiana, Gordon Bloyer stirred up trouble. The middle-aged, mustachioed Bloyer used his 6:30 p.m. television talk show to lambast elected officials in the city of 35,000 on the shore of Lake Michigan. Not only were Portage politicians powerless to cancel the Gordon Bloyer Show — although at times they tried — they also were, in a sense, subsidizing Bloyer’s attacks on them: His show appeared on public access television. “People would get all upset,” Bloyer says, sounding satisfied. “So I figured that’s good.”

Now, Bloyer is up against a foe he can’t beat. AT&T, looking for a fast track into the TV business, recently persuaded the Indiana legislature to move most aspects of cable regulation from the local level to the state level. A little-noticed byproduct of the new law is that independent local voices such as Bloyer’s are being squeezed off the air. In fact, late last year many public access channels in northwest Indiana went dark.

Public access TV now faces a more uncertain future than at any time since its inception in the 1970s. In the past three years, some 20 states have, like Indiana, switched to statewide franchises for cable TV. In the process, public, educational and governmental channels — the so-called “PEGs” — are getting hammered. Many are losing funding or studio space, and in a few places PEGs are being shut down altogether. The wild sandbox that gave political gadflies, aerobics instructors, sex therapists and many others a place to hone their video skills, while entertaining those who dared to watch, may never be the same.   —>
http://www.governing.com/articles/0802tv.htm
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Leaving Localism Behind
StopBigMedia.com
01/31/08

In the January 7th issue of Broadcasting and Cable, Gene McHugh, general manager of Fox TV station WAGA in Atlanta, is quoted as saying, “We’ve determined that localism is the future for TV stations.” The article reported that WAGA and other Fox TV stations are adding an extra half hour of late night news to their schedules in 2008. More local news, however, may mean little if it is just more of the same sensational journalism and celebrity gossip that dominates both national and local news.

Yet, McHugh’s statement does represent a rare admission that stations could be doing more to serve the local public. Not only could they do more, but people are hungry for it. The statement strikes at the heart of the myth that the junk news that is so prevalent is just “giving people what they want.” McHugh recognizes that the citizens of Atlanta and people across the country are desperate not only for more local news, but also for better local news that addresses the critical issues like health care, the economy, safety, and the environment.

Just two weeks after this article appeared, the Federal Communications Commission took action on a long- overdue localism debate that dates back to the previous chairman, Michael Powell. Unfortunately, the FCC did not come to the same conclusion as Gene McHugh and WAGA. It seems the FCC, whose mission is in part to foster localism, thinks stations are doing just fine. The report, released on January 24th, concludes a proceeding that included six public hearings and thousands of comments from concerned citizens. While the comments submitted and the testimony given overwhelmingly suggest that the American people are dissatisfied with the way their local media are serving their community, the FCC barely acknowledged these complaints in their report. —>
http://www.stopbigmedia.com/blog/2008/01/31/leaving-localism-behind/
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An FCC watcher’s guide to Super Tuesday
by Matthew Lasar
Lasar’s Letter on the FCC
02/03/08

Super Tuesday is coming on, well, Tuesday. Twenty four states and American Samoa will hold primary elections or primary caucuses for Democrats and Republicans. And while the horse-race watchers obsess over which candidate will be most electable, LLFCC has kept track of their positions on broadcasting and telecommunications related issues.  Of all of the contenders for the Democratic nomination, John Edwards had the most clear and comprehensive set of positions on Federal Communications Commission related matters. Unfortunately, the former United States Senator has withdrawn from the race.

Candidate Edwards repeatedly pledged to strengthen rather than weaken the FCC’s media ownership rules. “Edwards believes extreme media consolidation threatens free speech,” his media page declares, “tilts the public dialogue towards corporate priorities and away from local concerns, and makes it increasingly difficult for women and minorities to own a stake in our media.”  Edwards also promised to strengthen public interest requirements for broadcasters, including disability access requirements. Edwards said that he supports net neutrality. And he assured voters that he would lift restrictions on the licensing of Low Power FM radio stations.

Congressmember Dennis Kucinich, who has also withdrawn from the race, also supported net neutrality and opposed the relaxation of the agency’s media ownership rules. Kucinich has been a strong supporter of locally controlled, public access television and Low Power FM radio.

Four candidates with clear records on the issues remain in the field.   —>
http://www.lasarletter.net/drupal/node/551
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Prescott considers new channel  on access television (1 comment)
Daily Courier (AZ)
02/03/08

A possible change in the city’s public access television programming and an engineering contract for levee analysis will be among the issues the Prescott City Council will discuss this week….  On the agenda will be discussion and possible direction from the council on the creation of a government channel through the Prescott Community Access Channel, Inc.’s Access13.

City Manager Steve Norwood explained on Friday that officials with Access13 approached him recently with the proposal for adding another access channel for Prescott television viewers.  While City Council meetings and other programs currently air on channel 13, Norwood said the change would move that programming to channel 15. Channel 13 would remain as the channel for other access programming.   —>
http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=52166
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Waiting on FiOS Until It Can Deliver LMC-TV
by Judy Silberstein
Larchmont Gazette (NY)
01/30/08

Less than 24 hours after the Larchmont Village Board approved door-to-door sales of Verizon’s new FiOS (fiber optic) television service on January 7, the salesmen were at our door, and we eagerly signed on. (See: Verizon & Cable Board Agree on TV Franchise Terms and Verizon FiOS Ready for Sale but Not for LMC-TV.) We were lured by the promise of faster broadband, more reliable phone service, better digital picture and lower prices.

There was a hitch – a deal breaker for us. Verizon was not yet ready to provide local access television stations, including LMC-TV, and no one knew when that part of the service would begin. The salesmen and their supervisor had no clue.  Nevertheless, we signed up – having been assured that we could just delay installation until Verizon was ready to deliver LMC-TV.

Unhappily, we learned later that Verizon’s franchise agreement allows four months to conclude whatever process is necessary to enable broadcast of local access stations over FiOS. According to a Verizon spokesperson, the work is a priority – but it’s not easy. The likely completion date is April 10.  And, much to our regret, we learned that pushing off installation of our FiOS television and telephone was also not easy. The system could barely handle a short delay; multiple delays led to chaos…

…But, for us, the biggest problem was the specter of being without LMC-TV for months. Why do we care? For the Gazette, LMC-TV is our back-up for all the government meetings we cover. We rely on the live broadcasts when we can’t be at a session and on the replays when we need to review exactly what was said.

And why should you care? Judging from the number of citizens attending most sessions, very few of you actually turn up at Village Hall or the Town Center or Mamaroneck High School for board meetings. Many more of you – without a rating service, we don’t know how many – watch from home. We try to cover the highlights in our reporting, but if you want all the details, LMC-TV is the only source.  And then there are all the other LMC-TV shows that are hosted by community members and that feature our neighbors and our neighborhood.   —>
http://www.larchmontgazette.com/2008/techtalk/index.html
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City seeks to regulate its cable TV channel
by Angela Daughtry
News-Leader (FL)
02/04/08

Fernandina Beach – If City Manager Michael Czymbor has his way, the city’s local public access channel will have a new regulatory policy.  Czymbor has asked city commissioners to consider adopting a Public, Educational, and Government Channel Broadcasting, or PEG, policy for the channel the city has with cable television franchisee Comcast.  The PEG policy would designate what types of programs the city would allow to be broadcast. Any religious, political or commercial shows would have to pay Comcast for airtime and would not be allowed on the city’s public access channel.

“Our quandary is that we don’t have any rules and regulations,” Czymbor told commissioners at a Jan. 22 commission meeting. He pointed out that if the city allows churches to have free programming, it must also allow any organization, no matter how controversial, to run programs on the channel.

Commissioner Ron Sapp said the progression of public access cable “has been interesting to watch.” He noted that the cable company used to be “equal access,” providing free equipment and a studio for the public to air its own shows. “Now the taxpayers have to provide the equipment,” he said. “The First Amendment didn’t apply to Comcast, but it applies to us.”

Commissioner Bruce Malcolm asked Czymbor if there had been a problem with misuse of the channel. Czymbor answered that the channel had not been misused but without the PEG policy, the city would have to broadcast any program, “whatever the organization’s mission.”  He added that he thought the city should be doing “a lot more programs that would interest the general public,” such as tours of Egans Creek Greenway and the lighthouse.

Commissioner Ken Walker said he could not understand why the channel hasn’t been used more, but to “keep some form of civility to the channel we have to adopt some sort of rules.”  Sapp noted there has been community access programming since the early ’70s, with “no conflict, no controversy.”  “If there begins to be a concern, then we start to look at that,” he added. “So why pass some exclusionary kinds of rules?”   —>
http://www.fbnewsleader.com/articles/2008/02/04/news/00newscitycable.txt
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Town television offers new programs this month
Greenwich Post (CT)
02/04/08

In February, Greenwich Community Television Channel 79 will feature three programs on topics of public interest this election year: climate change, civil rights and equal education.

“The Economics of Climate Change: Risk, Ethics and a Global Deal,” a lecture by Lord Nicholas Stern, is part of The Walter E. Edge Lecture series at Princeton University…
…“Jim Crow’s Last Stand:  The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Suburban North,” a lecture by Thomas J. Sugrue, was given at Case Western University in 2007 as part of its Cityscapes Lecture Series…
…“A View From the Top:  A Conversation with Former Governors About Abbott v. Burke,” a 2007 program featuring former New Jersey governors Brendan Byrne, Jim Florio and Donald DiFrancesco, was held at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.   —>
http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/greenwich/28465.shtml
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Seeing is believing — or is it?
by Rick Siefert (1 comments)
The Red Electric
02/03/08

—>   Last week two Media Think colleagues (Joan Rutkowski and Matt Stockton) and I presented a televised discussion about television advertising.  We examined four ads for the above products in some detail.  In the course of the Metro East cable access program, “Community Hotline,” we considered several questions:

Who made these ads? How were they made and at what cost?  For whom were they made?  What devices were used to appeal to the “target audience”?  How successful were the ads in appealing to the audience?  What were the ads NOT telling viewers that they needed to know about the product.”

One hour wasn’t enough time to do justice to the questions or the answers, but we made a start. (The program will be rebroadcast, and I’ve listed the times below if you are interested in seeing what we had to say.)

The ability to “read” visual images critically (yes, I know, words are also visual images) is a necessity in our media-saturated culture. The field of media literacy tries to address that need. Media Think, one of dozens of groups around the country, is lobbying to make media literacy a “life skill” and a required subject in our schools.  Without the skill, we will be increasingly vulnerable media messages aimed not at our minds but at our emotions and basest instincts—never mind the cost to us, our society or the planet.

As I’ve done my own critical thinking about our on-air ad analysis, I wish we had shared some key concepts of media literacy and applied them to the ads.  Better late than never.  You can find varying lists of these concepts, but here are the ones that the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA) circulates. After each. I’ve included my own parenthetical comments in hopes of giving you a sense of the concept’s significance.   —>
http://theredelectric.blogspot.com/2008/02/seeing-is-believing-or-is-it.html
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Kenyan Expatriates Access Live African Television Coverage of Crisis in their Homeland
by Howard Lesser
VOA News
02/04/08

A leading broadcaster of African television over broadband internet has noticed a surge in the number of Kenyan viewers and others around the world avidly following disturbing political developments in Kenya.  Africast-TV streams real-time and archived programming over the internet from more than 40 public and independent channels in 25 African countries to subscribers in 50 countries, who can also sign up to watch it on their television sets.  From its US headquarters in Westport, Connecticut, founder and CEO John Sarpong says that the contentious campaign and its violence-filled aftermath has stirred more than 120-thousand anxious new viewers to tune in, looking to fill a void in global media coverage of Africa.   —>
http://www.voanews.com/english/Africa/2008-02-04-voa4.cfm
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Broadcasters, cable operators blasted for bottom-line approach to content
The Canadian Press
02/04/08

GATINEAU, Que. – Actors, directors, writers and producers described Canadian private broadcasters as greedy capitalists who care little about Canadian programming, as week-long hearings on the future of domestic television programming began Monday.  “Our problem in this country is the broadcasters who have been demonstrating a slavish devotion to lowest common denominator U.S. shows and simulcast them at bargain-basement prices,” said Richard Hardacre, president of ACTRA, the Canadian writer’s guild.

The comments came at a news conference in conjunction with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission hearings, which are examining recommendations to change the way Canadian-produced television and films are financed.  The federal regulator will be hearing arguments throughout the week on a proposal that would divide the $288 million fund essentially into two streams – one for commercial shows paid for by private broadcasters, and another supported by the government to produce culturally significant programming.   —>
http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5h9GJLN0K4Oxy0PZVNvs1MrTFm4pQ
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Survey: More Internet Users Watch Web TV Than Cable VOD
20% Of Internet Users Watches A Show A Week On The Web
by Todd Spangler
Multichannel News
02/04/08

Internet users are more likely to watch TV shows on the Web than access cable video-on-demand services, according to a survey by research firm Solutions Research Group.  The survey found that about 20% of Internet users in the United States said they watch TV episodes on the Web every week, compared with 14% who use a cable operator’s VOD.   —>
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6528505.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web:  http://ourchannels.org
wiki:  http://peg.ourchannels.org

Community Media: Selected Clippings – 12/19/07

December 19, 2007

Council to fight cable switch
State help sought on CTN channels
by Tom Gantert
The Ann Arbor News (MI)
12/19/07

The Ann Arbor City Council is taking its feud with Comcast to the state level, where it hopes the people it blames for allowing cable providers to move community access TV to undesirable channels in the 900s will fix the problem.  Council Member Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, sponsored a resolution that calls on the Legislature to amend the state law to require cable providers to keep offering its public access and government channels in their customary channel slots.

Kirk Profit, a lobbyist retained by the city of Ann Arbor, said state lawmakers are just starting to take notice of the complaints and interest “is just starting to develop.”  Profit told council members on Monday he would take their concerns to state lawmakers in January but said, “I don’t have an answer for you, yet.”  Ann Arbor offers Community Television Network, which has four channels and offers 19,000 hours of programming a year with much of it government related.   —>
http://www.mlive.com/news/annarbornews/index.ssf?/base/news-25/1198078966180410.xml&coll=2
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GRTV & LiveWire being “booted” to the digital tier on cable
by Laurie Cirivello
Grand Rapids Community Media Center (MI)
12/18/07

I am sad to note that as of January 15th, GRTV (channel 25) and LiveWire (channel 24) will no longer be seen on basic cable TV but instead on channels 917 & 916. Invoking their new options made possible by the State Uniform Video Franchise Act, Comcast has decided to put all community cabel access channels in the State of Michigan in the 900 tier of their digital cable service.

This change was announced with little advance notice to, and no consultation with, public, education or government access stations. It is estimated that nearly half of local cable subscribers do not subscribe to the more expensive digital cable and will need converter boxes to access the local content on GRTV and LiveWire. This is a sad development.   —>
http://www.grcmc.org/about/news.php?news_item_id=248
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Starting tonight, Mooresville enters the cable business
by Megan Pillow
Mooresville Tribune (NC)
12/19/07

Come 6 p.m. tonight, many area cable customers will see the name of their service provider change, but hopefully, no change to their service.  Tonight, Mooresville and Davidson’s new $80 million cable and Internet system, MI-Connection (pronounced “My Connection”) will take the reins of 13,200 subscribers from its caretaker, Time Warner Cable.  The transition, which has been two years in coming, will provide the two towns with local control of programming and operational decisions for the former Adelphia system, and in time, potentially an additional revenue stream.   —>
http://www.mooresvilletribune.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=MOT/MGArticle/MOT_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173353920400
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JoCo neutralizes reporter’s secret weapon
Kasas City Star (MO)
12/18/07

Johnson County commissioners just spent $650,000 on a new broadcast-ready, third-floor public hearing room in the County Administration Building in downtown Olathe.  That effectively wipes out a reporter’s secret weapon: The old commission chamber’s parabolic, domed ceiling was notorious for amplifying private conversations. But we’ll get to that later.

After equipment testing is completed — planners are shooting for Jan. 7 — the signal carrying the Thursday commission sessions will be streamed on the county’s Web site, http://www.jocogov.org. Once there, you’ll be able to view the meetings live. Archived footage will show up a day or two after each meeting, and users will be able to click on segments of individual agenda items.  Next, the county will focus on broadcasting the meetings on public-access cable TV channels —Time Warner, Channel 2; and Comcast, Channel 7.   —>
http://www.kansascity.com/news/neighborhood/leawood/story/408738.html
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Gilford selectmen make TV debut
The Citizen of Laconia (NH)
12/19/07

The town’s Board of Selectmen premieres on public access television with its meeting taking place today.  For the past few months the Town of Gilford has been working toward getting the Selectmen’s meetings aired on television, and with the equipment in place the goal will finally be reached.  The 3 p.m. meeting will be recorded and the tape forwarded to Lakes Region Public Access for broadcast.  Lakes Region Public Access airs on MetroCast channels 24, 25, 26.   —>
http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071219/GJNEWS02/725321226/-1/CITIZEN
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Residents willing to pay for paving of 410th Street
by MaryHelen Swanson
East Central Minnesota Post Review
12/19/07

—>   The council also discussion possible cable usage by the public including city video equipment.They also ideas discussed options or using cable franchise funds for communication improvements.  Suggestions included upgrading the sound system in the council chambers, replacing the community billboard at the intersection of Main Street and Forest Blvd., replacing the banner behind the council table to say North Branch so cable viewers would know right away what they were watching, installing a projector screen in the chambers, purchasing a document camera, and providing each councilor with a laptop computer.

The cost of these items would be around $19,000 and would be paid from cable franchise fees. There is currently over $41,500 in the fund, with 2008 projected revenue of $27,000.
http://www.ecmpostreview.com/2007/December/19rwtpp.html
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Bismarck, Midcontinent reach agreement
by Grordon Weixel
Bismarck Tribune (ND)
12/19/07

Midcontinent Communications will continue to provide Bismarck cable television services for the next 10 years with the city commission’s approval of its franchise.  Tom Simmons, Midcontinent vice president, visited with commissioners during the hearing held as part of Tuesday’s city commission meeting….

Commissioner Sandi Tabor, who is the commission’s liaison for Community Access Television, asked questions related to the availability of Video On Demand for CATV  and the number of channels available.  Simmons explained that VOD wasn’t available for CATV since more than 150 communities share the same computer server. CATV had requested 20 to 25 hours of VOD time and that amount of space on the server wasn’t available. Simmons added that up to four channels are available for Bismarck pubic access, but only two on the basic analog tier, the other two are on the digital tier.   —>
http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2007/12/19/news/update/doc4769947eabf6f578789114.txt
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St. Tammany government access channel wins National Association of Telecommunications award
by Suzanne Parsons Stymiest
nola.com (LA)
12/04/07

Access St. Tammany, Cable Channel 10, was awarded an honorable mention from the National Association of Telecommunications for “Katrina Remembrance,” a one-hour special documenting St. Tammany’s response and recovery one-year post storm. A special encore presentation of “Katrina Remembrance” will be shown on Channel 10 on Wednesday, December 19 at 8pm in honor of the program’s recent award.   —>
http://blog.nola.com/stpgov_org/2007/12/st_tammany_government_access_c.html
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Arizona City Helps Get Military News to State
by Samantha L. Quigley
Blackanthem Military News
12/19/07

PEORIA, Ariz. – Arizona cable subscribers will soon have access to the latest military news from the comfort of their living rooms, thanks to an agreement between an Arizona city and a national cable provider.   The Peoria City Council amended its cable franchise agreement with Cox Communications during a city council meeting last night. The change will allow the cable provider to share the city’s Pentagon Channel broadcast with Cox digital customers in the state.

Peoria was the first city in the state to offer the Pentagon Channel 24 hours a day to Cox cable customers, Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett said.  “We’re not aware of … (another) exchange of a PEG channel, a public education and government channel, for a systemwide broadcast of the Pentagon Channel,” said John Schell, director of intergovernmental affairs, who was instrumental in bring about the agreement between Peoria and Cox. “From that respect, it’s certainly historic for the city of Peoria and the state of Arizona, and it probably is for the rest of the country.”   —>
http://www.blackanthem.com/News/living/Arizona-City-Helps-Get-Military-News-to-State12842.shtml
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Let’s See If the FCC Is Serious About Stopping the Next Media Consolidation
by Art Brodsky
Public Knowledge
12/19/07

Public Knowledge wasn’t involved in the hellacious fight at the Federal Communications Commission over media ownership. Our friends in Free Press and Media Access Project, among other groups, put forth heroic efforts and spent uncounted hours at all times of the day and night to make sure that what would turn out to be a bad decision could be less bad than had they not made their presence felt.

While the dust is still flying, however, we do want to call attention to certain comments of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate and Commissioner Robert McDowell…

We quote them at length because we want these words to be remembered as the chairman and the commissioners contemplate whether they want to allow a second wave of media consolidation to take place – on the Internet.   —>
http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1316
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Action Alert – Stop Big Media
by Robert McChesney
Community Bridge Commentaries
12/19/07

On Tuesday 18 December, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and his two fellow GOP commissioners approved new rules that will unleash a flood of media consolidation across America. The rules will further consolidate local media markets — taking away independent voices in cities already woefully short on local news and investigative journalism.  In 2003, the FCC tried to do the same thing, but millions of people demanded that Congress reject the FCC’s rules. And they did. It’s time to do it again.

We need 100,000 people to get Congress to reverse the FCC’s rules right now.  Sign Our Open Letter to Congress.  Then get three of your friends to do the same.   —>
http://communitybridge.blogspot.com/2007/12/action-alert-stop-big-media.html
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FCC caps Comcast’s growth
It limited the company to 30% of the pay-TV market. The issue is expected to end up in court.
by Bob Fernandez
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
12/19/07

In the face of criticism from members of his own Republican Party and regulatory experts, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin secured a limit on Comcast Corp.’s growth yesterday in a 3-2 vote.  The new regulation will limit Comcast to 30 percent of the pay-TV market in the United States, halting the billion-dollar acquisitions that have made it the largest cable company in the nation and one of the largest companies in Pennsylvania.   —>
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/entertainment/20071219_FCC_caps_Comcasts_growth.html
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Santa Gets a Facelift for International Public Access TV Event
“SANTA AND SONS & daughter!” movie updated for 3rd Anniversary Access Awareness showing.
Florida Emerald Coast
12/19/07

Now in its third year, “SANTA AND SONS & daughter!” the family musical movie is showing throughout December in 26 states – more than 150 cities in the U.S. and internationally in Austria and United Kingdom; plus countrywide in New Zealand and Ireland.  We’re showing in Vienna, Virginia and Vienna, Austria.” adds Producer/Director, Robert Battaile. “I’d love to take a jet and watch the program all over the globe. Hmm, maybe there’s a documentary there.”   —>
http://community.emeraldcoast.com/articles/santa_20908___article.html/sons_facelift.html
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compiled by Rob McCausland
Alliance for Community Media
202-393-2650
web: http://ourchannels.org
wiki: http://peg.ourchannels.org