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What Is Pittsfield Community Television?
What is Pittsfield Community Television?
PCTV is a community television station, operating Public, Educational, and Governmental Access Television (“PEG Access”) available to cable TV viewers on three channels in the Time Warner Cable service area, and serves people who live or work in the City of Pittsfield. These three channels each serve our community in a unique way. “Access Pittsfield,” our public channel, serves the public directly and allows anyone from the Pittsfield area the ability to make a program. “Pittsfield ETV,” the Education Access Channel, provides a link to our local schools and educators, giving them a distinct voice to help educate our community. Finally, our Governmental Access Channel “Citylink,” provides a vital connection between government and the people, most often through gavel-to-gavel coverage of local city meetings.
The goal of access television is to enable people with little or no television production experience to create and cablecast original, local television programming. One way PCTV accomplishes this goal is through training people in the use of production equipment and technique. In fact, this is a primary objective of our staff – to train and facilitate the use of the professional television equipment available to the people of Pittsfield through PCTV. Once trained, PCTV members are able to utilize our production facilities available at PCTV. These include: a multi-camera television studio; a fully outfitted mobile production vehicle; two off-line editing suites; and portable video equipment which can be borrowed to create programming “on site.”
Pittsfield Community Television is paid for via a unique arrangement. Through a ten-year franchise agreement between Time Warner Cable and the City of Pittsfield, our station receives nearly 5% of Time Warner Cable’s revenues annually. The funding we receive is used for both operating expenses (salaries, utilities, rent, supplies, etc.) and for capital needs (purchase of equipment). As an organization, Pittsfield Community Television is an independent, not-for-profit charitable organization recognized under Internal Revenue Service code, section 501 (c)(3), and recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a charity exempt from state sales and income taxes. We have a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of thirteen directors elected by the membership. Directors’ terms are for three years.
Important Station Documents
Your Frequently Asked Questions
Pittsfield Community Television encourages all residents of Pittsfield to create programming on their own. We understand individuals have busy schedules and lives, so even though PCTV will not send staff to record your event, we will help you find volunteers who will. If you want to record the event yourself, PCTV will be happy to have you as a member and provide you with training. Just make sure the event doesn’t promote a profit-making product, service or trade.
No. We are not a Pittsfield city department, and there is no city budget line item devoted to paying for PCTV. Time Warner Cable is contractually obligated to fund access television locally, with 5% of their gross revenue. Since the cable company uses Pittsfield’s ‘public rights of way’ to run their cables and make a profit from that, federal communication law mandates that they provide this local access. Funding PCTV is how they meet this requirement.
Time Warner Cable is contractually obligated to dedicate 5% of its gross revenue exclusively toward the purpose of funding local public, education and government access television. Pittsfield Community Television uses that money, along with money it raises in other ways, to fund the operations and equipment needs of the organization.
No, PCTV is a non-profit organization that maintains the Public, Education and Government channels seen in Pittsfield. On Time Warner Cable, these channels are 16 (Access Pittsfield), 17 (Pittsfield ETV), and 18 (Citylink) respectively. We do not make any decisions about the other channels.
Although PCTV doesn’t have an exact number of viewers, we know that Pittsfield’s population is about 42,000 people, and there are about 18,000 subscribers including homes and businesses. Additionally, people in Dalton and Richmond receive our channels because of a grandfathered arrangement from the early days of cable television.
To get an already-made, not-for-profit community program on PCTV’s public access channel, Access Pittsfield, you must reside in Pittsfield or have someone from Pittsfield agree to be the ‘Producer of Record.’ All program content is the responsibility of the producer, and must meet the programming rules shown in our full Operating Rules & Procedures. There is no cost for placing a program on the air in this fashion. Once the show is accepted, the producer must sign a Producer Program Agreement Form.
If you would like to create a program at PCTV, you will need to live or work in Pittsfield, or be retired from working in Pittsfield, and sign up as a member. After you sign up, you will have to schedule training to learn the equipment (studio, portable, editing, etc., depending on the type of show you would like to make). At this point you will have the tools to become a show producer.
PCTV will only post messages of non-profit and community organizations. Messages will air two weeks prior to the event and will be taken down. Include all the information about the event as well as a contact number. The PCTV website has a form that can be filled out and sent directly. You can also email your message to us directly.
PCTV makes professional equipment available to our members under the condition they are creating programming for the purpose of airing on our channels and not for profit making under any circumstance.
PCTV provides members with tools to be able to create their own programming. We are confident that given the right training, equipment and opportunities, our members can make quality programming. So, no, we cannot do it for you, but we will help you along the way.
Membership rates for individuals in Pittsfield are $15 per year, and family membership is $25 per year. Retirees from Pittsfield are $5 per year. For qualified “associate” members (outside Pittsfield but within Berkshire County) the rates are $40 per individual and $70 per family. We offer a Group membership, which covers 5 individuals for $50, and an Organization membership, 20 individuals for $100. Contact us for details and restrictions on those, as well as make arrangements for organizations larger than 20 individuals.
Anyone may request a copy of PCTV programming. The cost is $15 per DVD, except for some specially-packaged programming, which costs $20. Copies of programming are intended for personal use only, and cannot be displayed publicly, uploaded to the internet, duplicated or resold. They also cannot be incorporated in other programming without written consent from PCTV.
PCTV provides an opportunity for local middle- and high-school students, as well as college students from the area, to learn about television production. Interns are welcome to apply for the opportunity to be involved in their chosen field of study.
The interactive program schedule is available on our website for Access Pittsfield, channel 16; Pittsfield ETV, channel 17; and Citylink, channel 18. On the ‘watch’ tab, find the channel you want, then click “Show Schedule” for the latest listings. Or, click “Show Search & Video On-Demand” to get more information about a particular show, including a link to watch the program on your device (available for many shows).
PCTV occasionally publishes an e-newsletter which is emailed to all our members, and others who opt-in to the newsletter list. This newsletter, called the “Monitor,” gives members a comprehensive overview of past and future events and important information that members will find interesting.
For more immediate news, people can “like” our Facebook page. It can be found at www.facebook.com/pittsfieldtv.
The public access station is an electronic forum for free expression by the residents of Pittsfield. The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees this freedom of speech. Any resident of Pittsfield is free to say or do anything on public access television as long as the content is not illegal or obscene.
We have contracted with an outside company to provide the internet bandwidth necessary to provide a reliable, quality webstream service. This costs money, and it is only fair to ask the people who use this service to pay for what they use. Subscribers of Time Warner in Pittsfield support, and receive, our channels on their televisions as part of their basic service. People who choose satellite TV, and people outside of our viewing area, do not contribute and should not be subsidized by paying subscribers. The pay-per-view streams are also very reasonable in terms of cost.
Providing Pittsfield With The State Of The Art
Camcorders. Video Editing Computers. A Fully Equipped Production Studio. A Three-Rack Portable Control Room. A Mobile Production Truck.
As a members of Pittsfield Community Television, you gain access to a tremendous range of professional production equipment. No matter what kind of show you’re thinking of, we can give you the gear to make it happen, and the training to use each and every piece. Curious as to what exactly we have to offer? Click the button below for a comprehensive list of our facilities and production equipment.
SEE OUR EQUIPMENT
Meet Pittsfield’s Very Own Video Production Staff!
One of PCTV's founding board members, Bernard's present role finds him managing the day-to-day operations of the station and its staff.
In addition to managing station finances, Jody is in charge of the front office, greeting guests and members, managing station finances, and supporting the needs to the Executive Director.
As the Public Access Coordinator, Matthew serves as the face most people from Pittsfield see when they're looking to create a program. In addition to coordinating Access Pittsfield, Matthew can be found supporting PCTV's Producers through engineering, instruction and occasionally in a crew position
At the helm of Pittsfield ETV, Shawn is the primary contact for, local schools, museums and educators to get their content on the air. When able, he also works hard to make sure the station's equipment always works the way it's supposed to.
Dave's role as Citylink Coordinator finds him in contact with members of our local, state and national government, to make certain their news reaches their constituents. When not serving those needs, he maintains the station's network of computers.
Serving the public in this multi-role position that supports the needs of the membership, David uses his previous experiences with CTSB-TV in Lee to great effect.
Our "newest" staff member, Jeffrey's experience in studio environments are a tremendous boon to our organization's members.
Becoming A Member
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Updated on 2017-01-10T13:40:01+00:00, by .