ACM Chair Missed Point of Editorial

The editorial clearly says the Knoxville situation is ‘different’ from the ‘pay to play’ situations
Author:
Publish date:

In an e-mail to me from Keri Stokstad, the Alliance for Community Media’s chair, she makes it clear she missed the point of an editorial that was published in the February issue of Government Video. The editorial—“PEG Payment Policies Should Be Challenged”—says, public, education and government channels should consider pursing legal challenges when cable companies charge PEG stations to broadcast their content.
The editorial provides the example of a PEG channel that successfully challenged the policy of a cable provider. In that situation, the PEG channel in Knoxville, Tenn. successfully challenged AT&T’s refusal to fix/replace two encoders that stopped working. The editorial clearly says the Knoxville situation is “different” from the “pay to play” situations, but that “municipalities [in states where cable companies are charging to broadcast PEG content] should consider following Knoxville’s example of challenging a policy imposed by a cable provider.”

Nonetheless, Stokstad wrote: “regarding your summary of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and pay-to-play matter in the article ‘PEG Payment Policies Should Be Challenged,’ the issue before the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) was not whether the operator could charge for carrying PEG programming, but was who should pay for replacement of equipment needed to convert PEG programming to IP. The TRA ruled that the Tennessee statute required the operator to pay for such equipment. The decision is helpful in states where the state law doesn’t explicitly excuse the operator from paying for equipment, but does not address the issue of whether cable companies can charge community media (public, educational and governmental cable channels) to deliver content. In most states, including Tennessee, they cannot but this may involve franchise language and/or state law.”

Again, she missed the point of the editorial. I’ll repeat. The editorial clearly says the Knoxville situation is “different” from the “pay to play” situations, but that “municipalities [in states where cable companies are charging to broadcast PEG content] should consider following Knoxville’s example of challenging a policy imposed by a cable provider.”

Related