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Montgomery County Accepting Applications Through Nov. 19 to Operate New PEG HD Cable Channel

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 18, 2021

Any individual or organization that always dreamed of operating their own cable television channel may now have that opportunity as Montgomery County is now accepting applications to determine an operator of a future high definition (HD) channel that would be part of the County’s PEG (Public, Educational or Government) system.


Applications will be accepted electronically through 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. County Executive Marc Elrich is responsible for making the final decision on who will operate the channel.


Executive Regulation 53-89 established the rules and procedures for requesting use of PEG Access cable television channels. It states that the County Executive receives applications from all parties interested in seeking an allocation of an unassigned PEG channel.    


Four high-definition PEG channels became available on the Comcast system Oct. 4, 2016. The channel operations were assigned to the County Government, Montgomery Community Television, the municipalities share one channel and a channel whose content was divided between Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College. It was determined that a fifth HD channel on the Comcast system would be available at a later time.


The operator of the new channel will have a wide variety of content operations to propose in its application. The content must fit within the public/educational/government framework.


The operator of the new channel will be responsible for production and/or acquisition of programming. The operator also will be responsible for all financial costs associated with operating the channel.


Applications must be sent electronically to Donna T. Keating, the Media Services Manager of the County’s Department of Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions, at donna.keating@montgomerycountymd.gov.


In addition to new applicants, current operators of PEG channels may apply to operate the new channel.

More information about the channel availability and the application process can be obtained by contacting Ms. Keating at 240-777-2925 or at Donna.keating@montgomerycountymd.gov


Application details and content:


  • Request by Current PEG Agency or Organization for Use of PEG Channel(s)

Applications for use of a PEG channel by a PEG operator currently operating a channel on a Montgomery County cable system must contain the following information:

1.   The number of HD PEG channels requested (One is available).   

2.   The intended use of each PEG channel requested. 

3.    How the use of the PEG channel for the proposed purpose(s) serves the public interest.

4.   The period of time per day for each channel requested.

5.   If a full-time channel is being requested, state why a partial day is not adequate to meet community needs.

6.   If the applicant already operates one channel, state why an additional channel is necessary and why programming cannot be accommodated on one channel.

7.   For a channel currently provided on the cable systems, the number of hours of programming from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020, categorized by the number of hours of locally-produced, acquired programming, text, block programming and the number of first-run programs versus repeats.


  • Request by New PEG Agency or Organization for Use of PEG Channel(s) 

Applications for use of a PEG channel, by a PEG operator not currently operating a channel on a Montgomery County cable system, must contain the following information:

1.   The number of HD PEG channel(s) requested. (One is available)

2.   The intended use of each PEG channel requested. 

3.    How the use of the PEG channel(s) for the proposed purpose(s) serves the public interest.

4.   The period per day for each channel requested.

5.   If a full-time channel is being requested, state why a partial day is not adequate to meet community needs.

6.   Documentation which supports your application along the lines of at least these five criteria:

       

   a. Professional/Administrative Qualifications

  • Organizational chart showing all salaried/contract positions (description of each, WY's, etc.)
  • Training and experience of employees (Resumes)
  • Administrative qualifications of Board Members
  • Bylaws
  • Board of Directors - board composition, representation of community groups

 

    b.  Technical Qualifications        

  • Location of proposed broadcast facilities
  • Complete listing of current equipment & proposed equipment (owned/leased)
  • Evidence of contracts/agreements with service (or program) providers
  • Programming description (what is available, percent of local original first run, public interest programming, sources for acquired programming)
  • Policies of corporation concerning program content, complaint/appeals, program ownership, public access
  • Specific technical needs to fulfill mission (training facilities, class structure, qualifications of instructors, policies, satellite receive capability, etc.)
  • Playback capabilities

     

 c. Financial Qualifications

  • Insurability and insurance policies
  • Audited financial statements of Corporation, tax identification number
  • Proposed annual costs and annual budget for programming, operations and management of the channel
  • Funding sources and anticipated revenues derived from these sources

   

   d. Character Qualifications

  • References and background information

 

     e. Serves Public Interest   

  • Best Description of programming
  • Description of training
  • Community needs and input

  • Allocation Criteria

The PEG channel will be allocated in accordance with the criteria in Executive Regulation 53-89.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following considerations:

  1. Any identified plans for future use of any unused PEG channels.
  2. The County’s determination whether such use is in the public interest.
  3. Consistency with any County-Municipal Agreements.
  4. Any other relevant information raised during the application review process.


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Release ID: 21-841
Media Contact: Donna Keating, 240-777-2925