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Chapter 23. Marshfield Cable Television Franchise Ordinance

Sec. 23-04. PEG Channel Requirements

(1) Number of PEG Channels. Video Service Providers and Cable Operators shall provide capacity for three PEG channels.  These channels shall be allocated as follows; one channel dedicated for use by local educational authorities; and two channels designated for local public access programming and local governmental uses.

(2) Location of PEG Channels.  PEG channels must be carried on any service tier that is viewed by more than fifty percent (50%) of the Video Service Provider's or Cable Operator's customers. Video Service Providers or Cable Operators may not charge an extra fee nor require the rental of special equipment in order for their customers to view such PEG Channels if such fees or equipment are not required to view any of the non-PEG channels on such service tiers.

(3) Quality of PEG Channels. Video Service Providers and Cable Operators shall not carry a PEG television signal in a lesser format or lower resolution than that afforded to a non-broadcast digital programmer carried on the video or cable system.  The signal quality of PEG channels shall be indistinguishable or better than the signal of other non-PEG channels carried by the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator.

(4) Drops/Origination Points. Video Service Providers and Cable Operators shall supply and maintain upstream capacity from all current origination points, (a/k/a "live drops") and shall provide sufficient capacity for carriage of a television signal from each of these origination points at all times.  These origination points are all located in the City of Marshfield, as follows:

(a) Marshfield Community Television, 101 W. McMillan, Suite A;

(b) City Hall Plaza, 630 S. Central Avenue; and

(c) Marshfield High School, 1401 Becker Road.

(5) Substantial Utilization of PEG Channels and PEG Programming.

(a) Procedures for Disconnection Due to Failure to Substantially Utilize PEG Channel.

1. Written Notice of Objection to Program as Not Locally Produced.  A Video Service Provider or Cable Operator must provide written notice to the PEG Public Access Coordinator within ten days of the first original airing of any program that the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator is objecting to the program as having not been locally produced.  Such notice shall describe with particularity the program being objected to, the date and time the program was first aired and the factual basis supporting the objection. Failure to timely provide this notice waives the objection, in which case such program will be counted towards the determination of whether said PEG channel is being substantially utilized.

2. Written Notification of Failure to Substantially Utilize Channel.  A Video Service Provider or Cable Operator must provide written notification to the PEG Public Access Coordinator within ten days following any week in which the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator objects that the PEG Channel has not been substantially utilized. Such notice shall describe with particularity the time period being objected to, the dates and times during the week in which qualifying programming was not aired and the factual basis supporting the objection. Failure to timely provide this notice waives this objection, in which case such programming period will be counted towards the determination of whether said PEG channel is being substantially utilized.

3. Written Notification of Intention to Disconnect, Reprogram or Drop PEG Channel. A Video Service Provider or Cable Operator must provide 120 days advance written notification to the PEG Public Access Coordinator that the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator intends to disconnect, reprogram or drop a PEG channel.  A Video Service Provider or Cable Operator may not disconnect, reprogram or drop any PEG channel that it has not timely provided such written notice to.  Furthermore, should the PEG Public Access Coordinator provide the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator with a written response that the PEG channel was substantially utilized during the time period in question or will be substantially utilized by the municipality, the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator shall not disconnect, reprogram or drop the PEG channel or channels.

4. Penalty for Failing to Provide Notice(s). If any Video Service Provider or Cable Operator disconnects, reprograms or drops any PEG channels without providing the notice(s) as required in subs.1. through 3., above, the Video Service Provider or Cable Operator shall be subject to the following:

a. Immediate reinstatement of the PEG channel to its location in the channel line-up prior to the disconnection, reprogramming or dropping of the channel;

b. A forfeiture of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $10,000.00 for each day that the PEG channel is disconnected, reprogrammed or dropped.

(b) Locally Produced Programming.  Locally produced programming shall include all programming produced by any PEG channel and shall include all programming that has not been commercially aired. "Locally produced programming" includes any program that was in part produced for original airing in the broadcast market in which it was produced either in part or in whole. The term "locally produced" shall not require that the programming was created, filmed or produced in the Marshfield area. PEG stations may share and exchange programming content in order to meet the substantial utilization requirements of Sec. 66.0420(5)(b), Wis. Stats.

(7) Underwriting of Programming.  PEG channels may transmit non-commercial programming to subscribers generally or to specific recipients of Video Service Providers or Cable Operators. Nothing herein shall in any way prohibit or prevent PEG channels from accepting grants or sponsorships in support of such programming nor shall PEG channels be prohibited from acknowledging such grants or sponsorships before, during or immediately after such PEG programming has been broadcast in such a manner that is similar to the manner in which the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) acknowledges the substantially similar support of its programming content.  Such acknowledgments shall comply with the requirements of 47 USC §399b as though the PEG channel were a public broadcast station.

(8) Notice of Intention to Move PEG Channel Locations/Designations.  Any Video Service Provider or Cable Operator, who intends to move any PEG channel from the channel designations in effect at the time that this ordinance is enacted, may only make such a change after providing 60 days advance written notice to the affected PEG channel(s). Additionally, such Video Service Provider or Cable Operator shall engage in a public education program of such intensity and duration as to reasonably inform the general public of the proposed PEG channel designations.

(Ord. No. 928, 1(23.01)—1(23.47), 6-12-2001)