City of Springfield, Illinois

James O. Langfelder - Mayor

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Program Rules and Guidelines


   General Information

Access 4 Springfield utilizes guidelines similar to those that had been in place under Comcast.

Producers are asked to please fill out the Information form which will help us track programs and keep in contact with producers.

Access 4 Springfield shall not exercise editorial control over program content, except that which is required by law with regard to obscenity and illegal activity. Access 4 Springfield reserves the right to schedule programs it deems inappropriate for children in a timeslot of its choosing. Users of community television channels and program producers are fully responsible for the content of all program material they produce and\or submit.


Information form

Please mail form to:
Access 4, City of Springfield,
800 E. Monroe
Room 300
Springfield, IL 62701

   Public Access Rules and Guidelines

  1. ACCESS PRODUCERS PRIVILEGES

    Access 4 Springfield producers are afforded the following privileges:

    1. Ownership rights to all original material.
    2. A minimum of one cable cast time slot, in accordance with scheduling priorities.
    3. The ability to request that program master videotapes held by Access 4 Springfield be discontinued from cablecast or erased.
  2. PROGRAM CONTENT
    1. Prohibitions and Clearances

      Access 4 Springfield shall not exercise editorial control over program content, except that which is required by law with regard to obscenity and illegal activity. Access 4 Springfield reserves the right to schedule programs it deems inappropriate for children in a timeslot of its choosing. Users of community television channels and program producers are fully responsible for the content of all program material they produce and\or submit. The following material is prohibited:

      1. Material which constitutes libel, slander, invasions of privacy or publicity rights, or which might violate any other local, state or federal law.
      2. Program material that creates the immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons; the substantial obstruction of law enforcement or other governmental functions or services; the deprivation of any person by threat, threat of force or physical action of a legal right or the disturbance of any person in the enjoyment of a legal right; or the creation of a public nuisance.
      3. The direct or indirect presentation of lotteries or lottery information, except for announcements pertaining to state sponsored lotteries.
      4. Programs containing material that violates copyright or trademarks. [Use of such material generally requires obtaining appropriate right from music licensing organizations, publishers, representatives, copyright holders, broadcast stations, networks and any other persons as may be necessary for cablecast. Producers may be asked to furnish written authorization for use of such materials.]
    2. Credits, Disclaimers and Labeling Of Sensitive Material

      Access 4 Springfield reserves the right to include the following notice (or some similar notice) before and/or after a program: "The views expressed on the following (or preceding) program are those of the individual producer and do not necessarily reflect those of Access 4 Springfield. Access 4 Springfield is not responsible for the production or quality of the tape/CD being cablecast."

      If Access 4 Springfield and the access producer make a good faith determination that the subject material in a program may offend some viewers and/or may not be appropriate for children, Access 4 Springfield may require that the following announcement be added to the beginning of the program: "The following program may contain sensitive material. Viewer discretion is advised."

  3. ACCESS CHANNEL SCHEDULING
    1. Eligibility

      Application for channel time on the Access 4 Springfield is open to any community member who submits a request for time. Programs are scheduled on a non-discriminatory basis. Channel time is granted on a first come first served basis.

    2. Channel Time

      Channel time must be requested at least two weeks prior to the first day of the month in which the program is intended to air. At the discretion of Access 4 Springfield staff, and if the desired time slot is available, the two-week submission rule may be waived.

      Requests for consistent time slots (program series) will be honored at the discretion of the staff, provided ample time remains available for other community programming requests and if the following conditions are met:

      1. The material is produced locally by community volunteers
      2. Producer submits new material on a monthly basis
      3. Titles and program descriptions are submitted to staff at least six weeks prior to their airing.
      4. A series time slot will be allocated for new series only if the producer has completed one taped program prior to application.
      5. Except for series programming, time slots will generally not be scheduled until a program is complete and all information pertaining to the program is supplied to staff for scheduling.
      6. If a series producer repeatedly fails to have a program ready in time for the scheduled cablecast, that time slot may be forfeited.
      7. If scheduling allows, a taped program may be repeated up to three times during any weekly period, for a total of twelve cablecasts per month. All programs are cablecast no more than three times in a given week. First-run programs have priority over reruns in scheduling. Programs previously cablecast on the system may be re-run, upon request, no more than four times within a given year.
      8. Time slots for program series are not permanent or guaranteed and may be interrupted or changed from time to time to accommodate other producers.
  4. Cablecasting Procedures

    Tapes/CDs/MP4s scheduled for cablecast must submitted at least one week prior to scheduled cablecast.

    Before a program is cablecast, the videotape/CD/MP4 must be clearly labeled with the following information:

    1. Title of program
    2. Cablecast dates
    3. Producer’s name and phone number
    4. Length of program
    5. In-cue and out-cue

    Tapes/CDs/MP4s submitted for cablecast must be prepared following the standard format outlined below:

    1. 30-seconds of color bars
    2. 30-seconds of black
    3. 10 second countdown
    4. 30-second disclaimers
    5. Your program content
    6. Appropriate production credits
    7. 60-seconds of black

    Videotapes/CDs/MP4s that are the property of the access producer must be picked up within two weeks of the final cablecast. After two weeks, Access 4 Springfield assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping of tapes.

    Programs will be pre-screened and will not be cablecast without full disclosure of content. All tapes must be submitted in English or with a full English transcript of program content.

    The Public Access channel should be available to and used by the entire community. Channel use limitations may be applied as necessary to ensure continued access to other members of the public.

    Programs become the property of Access 4 Springfield. Please do not provide your only copy or master copy of the program. Access 4 Springfield does not make copies of programs it airs. Disclaimer: Access 4 does NOT return DVDs once they are received.

  5. Technical Standards

    All programs submitted for playback are required to meet minimum technical standards for cablecast. Audio and video signal must be stable and of a quality as to permit playback and viewing without severe distortion and must be in compliance with FCC regulations. Access 4 Springfield reserves the right to refuse a request for playback if these minimum technical standards are not met.

    The following are examples of unacceptable technical conditions:

    1. Loss of control track (glitches)
    2. Incorrect color balance
    3. White levels that exceed 100 ire or black levels that drop below 7.5 ire
    4. Audio signals that are inaudible or distorted
    5. All video tapes/CDs/MP4s submitted for cablecast must be compatible with the format being utilized by Access 4 Springfield.
  6. GRANTS, UNDERWRITING AND SPONSORSHIP
    1. Underwriting

      Underwriting for programs must be for goods and services or in kind contributions that aid in developing and improving the program. Credit for underwriting must be similar to the following: "Goods and services used in the production of this program were contributed by (company name)."

      Credits may be shown before and after program and can be displayed at periodic intervals during the program.

      Access 4 Springfield must be notified, at the time program proposal is submitted, that a program will be underwritten. Failure to notify may result in a delay or cancellation of the cablecast.

    2. Personal Profit and Commercial Use

      Access 4 Springfield producers may not use any part of the program for personal profit or gain. Access 4 Springfield producers found to be using the facilities or equipment for personal profit or gain will be subject to loss of privileges.

      Federal law and FCC policies prohibit commercial use of public access channels. Producers wishing to develop a commercially viable program should request an application from the service provider for commercial leased access time under section 612 of the Cable Act, which specifically addresses the development of commercially supported programming on commercial leased access channels.

  7. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF ACCESS 4 SPRINGFIELD
    1. Waivers

      Access 4 Springfield reserves the right to unilaterally waive or modify any self imposed regulation when that waiver or modification is judged by Access 4 Springfield to be in the public interest or necessary for the efficient operation and management of the public access system.

    2. Violations

      Any community producer found in violation of Access 4 Springfield’s access rules, regulations and operating procedures may be denied future cable casting of their programs.

    3. Public Inspection

      Access 4 Springfield will maintain a file of all access requests for playback. The file shall include the name and address of the individual making request. The file will be available for inspection during normal business hours.

    4. Representation

      Access 4 Springfield producers are not to identify themselves as an employee or representative of Access 4 Springfield at any time. Anyone misrepresenting their affiliation with Access 4 Springfield will cause the immediate termination of their access privileges.

    5. Right of Refusal

      Access 4 Springfield reserves the right of refusal to any person not complying with the rules and procedures set forth in this document.

    6. Copyright

      Access 4 Springfield producers must obtain, in writing, and produce upon request, all necessary approvals, clearances, and licenses for the use of any material submitted for cablecast.