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February 1, 2011 > Community television to charge usage fees

Community television to charge usage fees

By Abraham Cruz

Milpitas City Council approved proposed usage charges for the Milpitas Community Television, Inc. (MCTV) on January 18, 2011. In April 2009, the city entered into a three-year agreement with Milpitas Community Television, Inc., a non-profit organization to operate a public access channel to feature public, educational and government programming on local cable access channel 26. The agreement stated that any usage charges to residents, citizens and organizations must first be submitted to the City Council for approval.

The operating costs for the first two years have been $31,000; the final year's cost is $29,500 for a grand total of $91,500.

As the agreement was approved for three years, to help offset further operating costs and possibly extend operation of the channel, Milpitas Community Television, Inc. submitted a schedule of usage charges.

Annual membership fees for studio usage are tiered according to age, residency, and non-profit/for-profit organization usage as follows: Milpitas resident $25, youth and seniors $15, non-resident $50, for-profit organization $150, non-profit organization carries no charge ($50 for non-local non-profit organizations).

The annual membership fees include access to MCTV training services and workshops, access to MCTV studio equipment, invitations to all MCTV events and subscription to all MCTV publications.

In additional to annual membership fees, studio and equipment usage charges per hour (with a two-hour minimum) are: free for residents and local non-profit organizations (with membership), $100 for non-residents and for-profit organizations and $50 for non-local non-profit organizations.

Further charges for MCTV staff usage per hour are $20 for youths, seniors and non-profits, $30 for residents and $50 for for-profits.

Finally, there is a $20/day charge for consumer level camera and $50/day for professional level camera upon credit card security deposit with a seven day maximum limit.

For comparison, the fee schedule of Mountain View's public access channel KMTV was submitted alongside MCTV's fee schedule, as KMTV charges user fees to help cover their operational costs.

If there is no funding beyond the end of the agreement in April 2012, MCTV may cease to broadcast.

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