A Quick Overview of Leased Access
Here’s a quick overview of ‘leased access’ and how by exercising this little known law, programmers with no affiliation with the local cable operator must be provided airtime on a channel for commercial content free from any editorial control of the operator.
Rates for this airtime are normally based on ‘time of day’ with cable operators charging the highest ‘per hour’ price for evening time slots and the lowest during early AM. However, the total of all time slots when compiled for a full month cannot exceed a ‘per subscriber’ amount set by FCC.
Cable sites can, and most do, charge for technical assistance if of a type not provided other ‘non-leased’ programmers. This is usually an ‘insertion’ or handling fee for physically putting the program in whatever device they use to play the video for transmission to the channel.
Additionally FCC has long agreed operators can require LAPers (leased access programmers) to require the user to carry “Media Perils” insurance.
While the law and FCC rules have it appear this should be as simple and easy as securing a bulk mail permit and then meeting post office handling requirements when mailing, the fact is FCC is so lax in their administration it results in operators often hindering the actual use of airtime.
This is where our association attempts to help by seeing that those enterprising television programmers desiring to avail themselves of the local distribution considered important enough by Congress to establish ‘leased access’ under Section 612 of the Communications Act, as amended (47 USC 532, 47 CFR 76.970 et seq.)
LAPA president Charlie Stogner’s StogTv network has an ‘affiliate’ program that secures the necessary agreements, provides the insurance and assists the local programmer in getting a show or shows on the cable site they choose. In addition, they can provide the infrastructure to bypass any local cable ‘insertion’ or handling fees as well as offering ‘live TV’ capability, separate from the airtime.
StogTv fees for both airtime access and technical support are scheduled to be less than it would cost a local programmer to deal direct with the cable site. There is a modest fee for becoming an affiliate and is to offset some of the expense in time required to get a formal leased access agreement with a local site and there is a minimum one-year lease on the equipment necessary for circumventing cable handling fees.
As president of LAPA (Leased Access Programmers Association), Stogner gladly provides basic information on what is needed for any prospective LAPer to secure airtime. If the prospect wishes to be an affiliate and have StogTv handle getting them on the cable site, then the affiliate fee is required in advance of any activity on their part.
Last Updated (Friday, 13 January 2012 09:24)