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NEWS UPDATE

                        TWENTY  FIVE  YEARS  OF SEEKONK  CABLE  ACCESS

            1985 saw the advent of cable television in the town of Seekonk with the signing of a 15 year contract with CVI (Cable Vision Industries). The contract required that a fully equipped studio be installed in the Seekonk High School and a public studio be  situated in town and staffed by CVI personnel. Free cable service was required for all public buildings and free access to the internet was provided to the schools and to the library. A Cable Access Corporation was to be formed to oversee cable transmissions from all public buildings and was to receive five percent of CVI’s income derived from Seekonk cable subscribers.
            In 1986 Seekonk Cable Access, Inc. was formed as a 501.C3 non-profit corporation with a Board of Directors, each serving a three year term. The Articles of Incorporation charged the Board with allocating funds received from CVI for the purpose of enhancing and promoting local television programming from, at that time, the five channels in Seekonk.
            The year 1998 saw the start of cable negotiations with CVI. During the two (2) years of negotiations, CVI was taken over by Time Warner, who was then taken over by Media One and then by AT&T. Under the contract, AT&T divested itself of all local access requirements other than maintenance of the cable system, the 5% payments to Cable Access Inc., and the requirements of the “social contract”. Comcast, Inc. acquired Seekonk’s cable license from AT&T in 2000.
            The existing Cable Access studio at 301 Taunton Avenue and the studio production van were taken over by the Board of Directors who then hired a station manager.  The Board over saw the installation of : broadcast capability in the library and the town hall; an MCET dish on Seekonk High School; Fire Department educational training equipment; an audio system for the High school auditorium; athletic field wiring for video transmission; library projector and fire resistant curtains for the meeting room; transmission wiring for the Save-A-Pet auctions from Johnson & Wales; video equipment for the middle school media program.  A coordinator was funded for the high school to establish a media program. Also funded were a large TV viewer and  a portable sound system for the town. During this time period, the access studio was refurbished and state of the art video equipment was installed. Thousands of shows have been aired by local producers. Cable Access funded the attorney for the 2000 contract negotiations.
            2008 was the start of negotiations with Comcast for 2010 to 2020. Funding for the attorney was again supplied by Cable Access. In 2010 an Executive Director, a part-time assistant and a full time news producer were hired. New lighting and new HD cameras were purchased. A new web site was developed and Cable 9 was re-branded as TV9 Seekonk. The 1984 production van was replaced with a 2008 unit.
            The 2010 contract with Comcast was signed by the town on December 1st allowing for the same 5% funding for Cable Access and a buy out of the I-net transmission line which  will help with the cost of installing fiber optic cable connecting the high school studio, the town hall and the cable studio to allow fiber optic transmission of local access programming (PEG – public, education and government) to the Comcast head end.
            The Cable Access Board of Directors has changed many times over the last  25 years but still remains committed to providing local programming to the Seekonk Comcast subscribers and to continue to train, fund equipment and help to produce programs by Seekonk residents.
            The residents are invited to the TV9 studio to learn, produce programs or volunteer their services. Questions and comments may be addressed to Executive Director, Jeffrey Fountain, TV9 Seekonk, 301 Taunton Avenue, Seekonk, MA 02771, 508-336-6770. or visit our website www.TV9Seekonk.com
  
Seekonk Cable Access Board of Directors

 

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