Thursday, December 28, 2000

West Chester to get community TV

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — The days of residents here having to stay up until 3 a.m. to watch high school sports or a trustees' meeting on cable TV are numbered.

        Starting Jan. 8, West Chester Township is scheduled to begin beaming out community TV programming on six local-access channels.

        And thanks to an expanded West Chester Community TV (WCCTV), this Butler County community will no longer have to squeeze its programs into a broadcast schedule jammed with sports and shows from other communities under Greater Cincinnati's Intercommunity Cable Regulatory Commission.

        The crowded local-access TV programming schedule of the ICRC often shoved the delayed telecasts of Lakota Schools sports into the early morning, said WCCTV Director Tim Jester.

        “What this means is that we'll have more and better playback times of shows about West Chester rather than other communities,” Mr. Jester said during a recent break in preparing for operating the new WCCTV studio at 8878 Beckett Road.

        In conjunction with Time Warner Cable, WCCTV will operate on a $450,000 budget in 2001 to provide six local-access channels to one of the largest townships in the Tristate and the fastest-growing township in Butler County.

        Besides Lakota sports, residents will also be able to view live telecasts of the West Chester Township trustees and other governmental meetings, public and school announcements, as well as other programming.

        Cable customers in West Chester will be able to see the programming on chan nels 4, 8, 15, 17, 18 and 24.

        “Two of the channels will be text or bulletin boards of information and announcements,” said Mr. Jester.

        Liberty Township, which is also served by the Lakota School district, will also have access to some delayed high school sports broadcasts via the Adelphia Cable System, which serves residents in that community.

        Every year, about $3 million is spent on public-access programming in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The money comes from fees paid by cable customers. Channel space is provided by cable companies in exchange for their use of public rights of way.

        Jose Alvarez, president of the West Chester Trustees, said the booming township, now with more than 60,000 residents, needs its own cable programming.

        “We have a lot going on in this community. This will increase our residents' access to our many community events, organizations and activities,” said Mr. Alvarez. “And it helps to assure that all their views ... can be heard.”


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