A Few Good Reasons to Support PEG Access


Written by: Greg McDonald, CTN Manager


Greg McDonald, CTN Manager

There are over 3,000 Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access centers in the United States. If you reside within the greater Washtenaw County area, Community Television Network (CTN), channels 16, 17, 18 & 19 on Comcast, is your place for local election coverage, high school sports, free media workshops, and community programming that your nonprofit (NPO) can be a guest on!  Get details here.

CTN is a public service provided by the City of Ann Arbor.  Funding for CTN is through franchise and PEG fees from the local cable providers, not from tax dollars. The city and cable companies negotiate a franchise agreement where the cable company pays a percent back to the city for renting/leasing the public right of way (the sidewalks and under the sidewalks where the providers run their cable).   Within the city limits, both Comcast and AT&T provide franchise fees.  Thanks to state franchise agreements and city ordinances, the City of Ann Arbor is one of the most respected and represented access stations in the nation.

But why do PEG Access stations matter to local NPOs (See story – Saving Access TV)?

Whether it’s local government meetings, school board sessions, youth, religious or political programming, distance learning, music or entertainment programming, these local community channels are a powerful voice for democracy.  There is very little coverage of Washtenaw County on the existing broadcast network channels, who tend to focus on national and syndicated news.  Like most PEG stations, CTN offers the community local media coverage and provides a voice for non-profits and residents.

A few good reasons your NPO should participate with CTN is to push your content over cable TV and the internet, improve your understanding of how to use media and support your first amendment rights to free speech.   In a time of media consolidation and while many local newspapers are disappearing, PEG access television has taken on greater importance as a voice for, about and by the community.  CTN is here to help NPOs with marketing and promotion, while staying updated on trending technology.

To learn more about CTN or to book your appearance, contact ctn@a2gov.org or call (734) 794- 6150.