NANTUCKET, MA — Following more than three years of legal wrangling, the Select Board approved the Town of Nantucket’s cable committee finalized terms of Comcast’s contract renewal that supports the island’s public access television station —Nantucket Community Television (NCTV).
The cable committee completed the negotiation of a new, ten-year, cable television contract with Comcast Corporation (February 19, 2020 – February 18, 2030).
“We are happy that Comcast has agreed with new conditions that benefit cable subscribers and residents,” said Lisa Getter, Executive Director of NCTV. “We’ve based our negotiations upon a community survey that was conducted by the Town and NCTV in 2018. This enabled us to reach meaningful goals that will better position NCTV to meet community communications needs over the next decade.”
The new license contract calls for Comcast to increase the Nantucket franchise fee from 3% to 5%, and provide capital funding of $400,000 over 10 years ($40,000 annually).
Comcast will also provide an HD (high definition) channel by January 1, 2023. Additionally, they will provide one new SD (standard definition) channel for a total of three dedicated NCTV channels. Comcast also agreed to a Senior Discount in a side letter; not a license agreement item.
Another sticking point for NCTV was obtaining the standard TV on-screen programming guide for its viewers. Comcast agrees to allow the service. However, Comcast does not provide the guide and NCTV would have to subscribe to a third-party provider for each channel; paid by NCTV.
Last but not least, Comcast has agreed to relocate the Dual Carriage (Hub Head) from the Nantucket High School to the NCTV building located in the mid-island area. This will allow for remote and live broadcasting from the NCTV Studio that will move forward with renovations later this year.
“We have made progress on several key points, especially PEG channel inclusion in the Interactive Program Guide which will bring our channels in line with current television viewing habits,” stated Lisa Getter. “We are also proud that these negotiations will provide a clearer path for providing PEG channels both with HD capability, as well as the maintenance and upkeep of remote live broadcast.”
“This settlement is the result of many months of work by NCTV, Comcast and the Town of Nantucket’s Cable Committee, special thanks to Gregg Tivnan, Assistant Town Manager, Chair, Jason Bridges, Select Board Representative, Lisa Getter, NCTV Executive Director, Andrew Cromartie, NCTV Station Manager, Jennifer Erichsen, Public School Representative, Karen McGonigle, IT Director, Linda Rhodes, IT, Florencia Rullo, Public Outreach Manager, and Brian Turbitt, Municipal Finance Director” stated Getter. “We look forward to sharpening our focus on providing the best PEG services and original programming consistent with the needs and interests of our island community.”
Arlene O’Reilly, Development and Marketing Director for NCTV.