"The only choice for truly locally produced TV programming and information without censorship or gavels."
NORTHBRIDGE MA: Do you feel your voice is not heard?
NCTV can help. New FREE Television production Workshops are available year round for individuals and groups. Learn how to create your own TV show for broadcast on cable and worldwide at www.nctv.us
When workshops are completed you will be able to book and shoot your production in our spacious, state-of-the-art studio. Call us at 508-234-0200 or by email at email@example.com . NCTV has the most productions produced weekly out of any other surrounding town. Come and join the fun. Must be 18 years or older.
Local Community TV and Access Center Faces Possible Shutdown
NCTV Launches TV Studio Production Workshops
NORTHBRIDGE MA: Northbridge Community Television Inc., (NCTV) foresees a bleak future for their numerous volunteers, viewers and many local non-profits they support as Charter Communications (Charter Spectrum) and others have formed an alliance with the Federal Communications (FCC) to end funding for your community public, education and governmeNnt channels. “These proposed complicatedly written and broad rules in FCC Docket 05-311 will effectively and dramatically slash, with the potential to completely removing all of the funding to the 501c3 charitable organization known as NCTV who has been in operation serving the residents/consumers of Northbridge for 30 years.
These FCC/Charter Spectrum backed proposed rules creates uncertainty to all community TV facilities countrywide as they are positioning Charter Spectrum and others to be able to eliminate funding which is federally mandated for the cable provider to pay for use of your public land and right of way and to provide funding for local town based community channels.
Why is this rules being proposed? New technology will reportedly require more infrastructure on the poles every 300 to 500 feet, the size of a pizza box to be placed on poles. The cable companies simply do not want to pay for use of public land that are directly maintained by the taxpayers in cities and towns. These rules also will only allow funding to come from cable TV revenue apposed to the current gross annual revenue from the town which will have a significant and destructive impact NCTV funding. Yet another part of the rules says that a cable company may deduct anything the cable company decides is an in-kind contribution. Charter Spectrum could place a value on our 3 community stations and charge it back to NCTV. That is only the beginning. Virtually any service the cable company provides could be charged back to our charitable facility. Senior discounts, any free or discounted services to the town or school system, use of fiber lines, location on the cable box, live broadcasts from the school or town hall to name a few. It is quite possible that the town and or NCTV could get a bill instead of funding as these proposed rules are very broad and not specific. Another reason for these proposed rules is Charter Spectrum is not making money off of community television but that is all going to change. Right now, in advance to the FCC's decision, Charter Spectrum is launching small channels all over the country to supply the viewers with “hyper local” programming which is what NCTV has been doing for over 30 years. They are actively hiring interns and staff for these new commercial stations. It is expected These new channels will attempt to mimic your community channels with the exception of adding commercials into your “hyper local” programming and will not be locally town volunteer produced programming.
Charter Spectrum is worth is close to 75 billion dollars. In Northbridge Charter Spectrum reported generated 5,674,924.83 in total revenue from 4691 subscribers in Northbridge MA. NCTV receives 3.5% of the gross revenue after Charter deducts what they have determined is “bad debt.” After said deductions, what is left is what determines the 3.5% that goes to NCTV.
Due to the availability of this funding, Northbridge residents 18 years or older, including business owners in town have the benefit of learning how to produce programming at the same time gain certification to book studio time borrow professional TV production equipment. Upon satisfactory completion of the workshops, our new found volunteer producer can now produce non-commercial programming for NCTV. Every service NCTV offers including TV production workshops for certification, studio time and bulletin postings are completely free thanks to the cable consumer's funding.
Funding is also used to support the NCTV mission statement in part: “Our Mission is to bring the community of Northbridge together through community media.” A substantial amount of the funding is given right back to the community through community outreach and services. So far, in 2018, NCTV has lent a hand, in one way or another to the following non-profit organizations and people: Residents of Northbridge, Our Volunteer Base, Our viewers, American Legion Post #343, Virtual Giving Tree, Northbridge Senior Center, Northbridge Association of Churches, Town of Northbridge, Northbridge Public Schools, Rockdale Youth Center, St. Patrick's Church, Armenian Church, Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church, United Presbyterian Church, Pleasant St. Christian Reformed Church, Whitinsville Social Library, Kathyrn M. Huston Mission Circle, Local scouting, Canines for Kids, Friends of Northbridge Elders, Northbridge Fire Department, Northbridge Historical Commission, Whitin Community Center, Rams Football, Rams Baseball, American Legion Baseball, Northbridge Junior Baseball, Northbridge PTA and Bundle Up Blackstone Valley Coat Drive to name a few. NCTV is also directly responsible for saving the American Legion Post #343 in Northbridge from permanently closing their doors by joining forces. NCTV, since 2012, have been tenants of the Legion. NCTV pays rent to the Legion and all utilities. In turn, NCTV built a state-of-the-art TV production facility in the spacious Legion Hall for Northbridge residents. The Legion members still have a section of their building for meetings and events and were able to also provide space for yet another charity, “The Virtual Giving Tree” who provides needy seniors approved by the senior center, with items they just cannot afford like food, toiletries, soaps, water, and food for their pets.
Carefully planned subterfuge and interference directed at NCTV and other charitable facilities by Charter Spectrum is not an uncommon event. Since October 14, 2014, when Charter Communications forcibly moved, NCTV's channels from 11, 12 and 13 to 191, 192 and 194 is when it all started. As a result Charter Spectrum is in direct violation of the cable license and refuse to come to the table to resolve the issue other than to offer to charge Northbridge Residents an additional .5% to make up for their breach. NCTV rejected the offer due to the breach settlement was going to come from the residents and not from the cable giant's pocket. It is expected that Charter Spectrum will remain in breach of contract until May 2023.
In a bazaar and cruel twist, when NCTV asked FCC spokesperson, Kathy Berthot, “why wouldn't these rules take place at the end of our Northbridge Cable license which is in 2023, Ms. Berthot said, “Some facilities have 20 year licenses. We cannot wait 20 years to enforce the rules.” She then went on to explain that these rules, when enacted will begin 30-60 days from the acceptance of said rules.
Charter Spectrum's Senior Communications Director, Heidi Vandenbrouck and Senior Director of Government Affairs, Melinda Kinney were posed a simple question and were given ample time to answer. “How will these rules affect our 501c3 charitable community facility?” No response was received from either of these Charter executives as of this article's publication. To quote a former Spectrum Government Relations Manager, Thomas Cohan, “Charter has no obligation to your charitable organization.” based on the lack of response, Cohan's statement seems to be accurate.
If you want help filing any type of comment, in opposition or support of the rules to the FCC, contact NCTV staff at 508-234-0200 or stop by the studio at 198 Church Ave., Northbridge MA 01534. We will walk you through the procedure.here.