AZ: Tucson Likely to Have Less Public Access Channels

Posted on March 3, 2007 - 1:02pm.

from: KOLD News

Tucson Likely to Have Less Public Access Channels

March 2, 2007 09:02 PM

By J.D. Wallace, KOLD News 13 Reporter

There are plenty of channels to choose from, but the city is fighting to protect some of them.

"Part of what we're fighting for is, who we are as a community, and that kind of discussion of exchange of ideas has always been a part of Tucson," said Ward 6 Councilwoman Nina Trasoff.

"Customer demands change over time," said Michael DiMaria, Director of Government Relations for Cox Communications.

Cox wants some of Tucson's public education and government channels.

Right now the city has eight analog and one digital channel that allow programming by Pima Community College, as well as the University of Arizona, Tucson 12, TUSD, and the fire department. Three analog channels are used by Access Tucson.

"It is literally the only place where ordinary citizens can get their info out to the public," said Sam Behrend, Executive Director for Access Tucson.

But there's only so much space for television channels, and analog channels offer more room than digital ones.

"Analog channels consume capacity where I can put eight channels in the same place," DiMaria said.

Cox and the city have spent months trying to agree on how many channels the city can keep. On Friday afternoon, they reached a tentative agreement that would give Tucson three analog channels, two digital ones, and 2000 hours of Entertainment On Demand each month.

( categories: ARIZONA | State Franchises )