Keep government out of URTV

Keep government out of URTV

Just a question here, folks. What in the world are the city of Asheville and Buncombe County doing authorizing funding for URTV in the first place? If URTV is funded by special charges on Charter Cable TV bills, it seems to me that 1) Charter would have more say about this, and 2) the people who pay their Charter bill every month should have the most say! We have too much government intervention in private affairs and the marketplace. Local TV is for local people, not the government.

— Betty Jackson

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4 thoughts on “Keep government out of URTV

  1. JamesL

    To answer your question: URTV is not funded by Charter Cable. It is funded by the city, county and URTV’s own fees.

    Historically local governments have required cable operators in their jurisdiction to pay franchise fees and/or P.E.G. fees in exchange for use of the public right of ways. The P.E.G. stands for Public, Education, and Government. The local government would be the final say on how those funds were to be used.

    There is no entitlement for public access to receive funding or even have a channel at all, in fact, they are not funded or even authorized by local governments in many areas as there is little support from cable subscribers for the channel. Most areas have only their Education and/or Government channels since those are widely accepted as beneficial services to cable subscribers for obvious reasons such as emergency notification, public health and safety, distance learning, etc.

    Public access is typically seen by cable subscribers as only benefiting those participating in the channel. This has increased the need for public access channels to be self funded through user fees or fund raising so the organization pays for itself rather than making the public at large pay for it. This is not a judgment on public access, just the reality.

    Since the states have taken over cable franchising, there are no longer any P.E.G. fees collected by local government. The state now collects taxes on video service so any government support of public access channels would have to be entirely from taxes. So in any scenario, public access will have to fund itself if it has the support of the community.

    To call it government intervention in private affairs is inaccurate when URTV is relying almost completely on support by the tax payers. If they are to continue to exist, they truly need to become a private affair and generate their own revenue so tax payers aren’t supporting them.

  2. Secret Service

    Facts VS. Interpretation

    Public Access is funded by Charter. You have it right Betty (“it” being the facts) on this one.

    “The Public at large” does not pay for Public Access, Charter subscribers do…which is reflective of URTV’s actual status as an organization that provides a service for a fee.

    (Which means if you don’t have Charter, you don’t pay for URTV!) So how’s that a tax?

    …and URTV is funded only by Charter, membership fees, training and other services—-not state tax money or any other tax money what-so-ever.

    Claiming that URTV is funded “almost completely on support by the tax payers..” is inaccurate and only helps to muddy the waters of understanding in this community about URTV.

    URTV is supported by taxpayers in the same way McDonald’s or Walmart is………..the people who use thier services pay for it. (and most of them are taxpayers)

    But don’t take my, or anyone’s word for it. Go to a free orientation, held every Wednesday @ 6pm.

    So back to the actual point: Government intervention in a private organization; or more specifically, Carl Mumpower’s political grandstanding on issues of conservative principle; i.e. supposed tax-funded services shouldn’t be paid for at all.

    ….is State-sponsored TV (AKA Socialism) really what the people want here?

  3. Bob White

    URTV’s product is free speech. To present free speech without influence or interference it HAS to be a private nonprofit entity, as it is.

    Not even the public — let me repeat that — NOT EVEN THE PUBLIC can have influence over or interfere in free speech entity or the free speech part is lost.

    What about this do the “open meeting idiots” not understand?

  4. JamesL

    I’m sorry some people refuse to understand the law on these matters. Feel free to reject reality and substitute your own.

    Taxes on video services are used to fund P.E.G., and government agencies allocate funding as they see fit. As such, any money allocated to URTV is public money from taxes that could be spent elsewhere to benefit all taxpayers.

    Those taxes are charged for all video services now, not limited to Charter Cable. If some wish to pretend the facts are otherwise, no amount of bothersome laws and facts are going to change their mind. Nevertheless, I invite you to investigate the law yourself, if it’s not too much of a bother.

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