(Go to JAT-Action Home Page)

The following material was handed out by the NewTV board at the board meeting held on January 14, 2004, to discuss allowing the rebroadcast of programs received via satellite.

Fact Sheet About NCAC, NewTV,
and the Issue Before the Board
at Tonight's Meeting

Paul D. Berg
Executive Director, NCAC

NCAC is an independent, non-profit corporation formed in 1991 under an agreement with the City of Newton, designating NCAC as the provider of PEG access services for Newton residents.

NCAC is primarily funded by local access fees from the two cable operators in the city, Comcast and RCN.

NCAC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, which meets here monthly.

NewTV is operated as an electronic forum for Newton residents to exercise their Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech. Time on the channel, and for use of the facilities is available on a first-come, first-served, non- discriminatory basis to anyone who becomes a Member of NewTV. Membership Dues are $20 per year for individuals.

Only an individual Member of NewTV may determine what programs or program content are to be shown on NewTV's Public Access channel. The Board does not exercise control of the content of public access programs, except as regards illegal or forbidden content. Forbidden on NewTV are the following:

Since opening this facility in 1992, the Board of NCAC has permitted a category of programming called "Imported Programs." Here are the current rules regarding Imported Programs, from NCAC Operating Rules & Procedures:

M. Outside or 'Imported" or "Bicycled" Programming

  1. Programming that is produced outside of Newton may be allowed to be cablecast on Newton public access channels. Any NCAC Member may sponsor such programming as the Local Sponsor by completing the agreement with the Rules and Procedures.
  2. Requests for cablecast time-slots will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. Locally produced programming will take precedence as NCAC's top priority in scheduling. NCAC staff may determine appropriate playback periods for outside programming to ensure program continuity. When all time-slots in a playback period are full, approval for cablecast of new programs will be withheld until time becomes available. Outside programming may be excluded from Prime Time cablecast when locally produced, Newton based programming fiils all of these time slots.
  3. All outside programs are required to have the NCAC disclaimer and funding acknowledgment (see section V. paragraph D. of these Rules and Procedures) at the beginning of the program. The Local Sponsor is responsible for compliance with these provisions, not NCAC staff. Failure to comply will mean the tape does not get cablecast.

At tonight's meeting, the NCAC Board of Directors will be considering amending these policies on Import Programs, to be applicable to technology -- namely a satellite dish receiver -- that was not available at the time they were written.

NCAC's attorney has advised that the existing rules are content-neutral, that any amendment must maintain such neutrality, and that failure to do so might involve an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.

Members of NewTV and of the general public are invited to speak on any matter on the published agenda. Each speaker will be limited to 3 minutes. Those interested in commenting on any aspect of program content on NewTV are welcome to express their views; however, the NCAC Board of Directors, as explained above, does not make judgments about program content. The content of programs shown on NewTV is the responsibility of the individual Member who produced it or sponsors it.

Valid HTML 4.01!