Public Television and Insight Communications Agree on Digital Carriage
New Orleans, LA, May 6, 2002 - The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) have entered into an agreement in principle with Insight Communications whereby the digital signals of public TV stations in markets with Insight systems will be carried on the local digital cable service. The announcement was made today at the National Cable Telecommunications Association conference in New Orleans.
Under the agreement in principle, 31 public television stations are eligible for carriage on Insight cable systems. Public television secured its first digital carriage agreement with Time Warner Cable in fall 2000. This agreement, which is very similar to the Time Warner Cable agreement, now expands public television carriage to the Insight systems.
PBS and APTS negotiated the agreement in principle on behalf of stations in Insight markets to ensure carriage of digital signals as stations begin to make the transition to digital broadcasting. Negotiations were directed by a joint committee of the APTS and PBS boards.
"This agreement builds on our commitment to ensure that our unique noncommercial programming and education services are available to all viewers through their local public TV stations' digital signal across a variety of platforms," said PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell. "We applaud Insight Communications for recognizing the value that public television's comprehensive array of digital services will bring to their customers in communities nationwide."
"Public television provides an essential service to the American public and, as local stations prepare themselves for the transition to digital, we wanted to ensure that our customers receive the full complement of their expanded offerings," stated Insight Communications President and CEO Michael Willner.
The key elements of the agreement in principle are:
- Recognition that multiple public television stations in markets often provide differentiated services to distinct audiences and a provision for carriage of more than one public television service per market under certain circumstances;
- Inclusion of high-definition and multicast programming, and program-related material; and
- Provision of carriage through the transition period from analog to digital broadcasting.
"I applaud Insight for joining Time Warner Cable in recognizing the value of public television digital service for its subscribers," said APTS President and CEO John Lawson. "Insight has truly embraced the spirit of Chairman Powell's call to cable operators to voluntarily carry broadcasters' 'value-added' digital program services."
APTS is a nonprofit corporation whose members are the nation's public television stations. It represents stations' interests before Congress, the White House, the FCC, the Departments of Commerce and Education, and other federal agencies. APTS also provides planning, research and communications support to member stations.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org
Insight Communications (NASDAQ: ICCI) is the 9th largest cable operator in the United States, serving approximately 1.4 million customers. The company is highly concentrated in the four contiguous states of Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Named "2001 Cable Operator of the Year" by Cablevision Magazine, Insight specializes in offering bundled, state-of-the-art services in mid-sized communities, delivering analog and digital video, high-speed data and the recent deployment of voice telephony in selected markets to its customers.
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Dara Goldberg, PBS
Tina Butler, APTS
Kim Messina, Insight Communications