LAPA Leased Access Programmers Association

Server Update Offers Simultaneous Broadcast/Cablecast/Webcast

The latest Star-Cast Video Server update offers simultaneous Broadcast/Cablecast/Webcast. Now LAP'ers can simulcast on the internet whatever material they are broadcasting on cable, and continue webcasting right around the clock after their cablecast goes off the air. You can now setup a complete cablecast/webcast station for under $5000.00.

Coupled with its super simple programming and list of automated features, you can now broadcast right from your headend server, or from any other location where you have internet access. See the Star-Cast specifications at http://ourlocalchannels.com/Star-Cast and see what we're doing at http://ourlocalchannels.com.

Start Your Own TV Station for Under $5000.00

Now you can start your own cablecast/webcast TV station for under $5000.00. The new Star-Cast Video Server and Scheduler with it's easy programming design lets you upload and manage your broadcast from any internet connection. Our player engine can stream practically any format video file. Setup a complete 24 hour schedule and program up to one week in advance. Handy features like automatic commercial insertion and rotating filler content make quick work of content publishing. We also offer video and production equipment. See our stations at http://www.ourlocalchannels.com and view the Star-Cast brochure at http://www.ourlocalchannels.com/star-cast. We have economical affiliate and leasing programs available. For more information call Charlie at 601-914-6672.

Some users of leased access airtime may be short changed by their cable operator.

A number of different cable site issues have risen since I last posted to our website so let me try to at least mention one of these that active LAPers may have encountered and persons seeking to become leased access programmers might come up against.

A site where I recently requested the standard leased access information, part-time rates, designated channel number and a sample agreement, instead sent me what must be their “commercial airtime contract” used for 'long-form' (feature length shows) they place on what is technically a 'local origination' channel. This “Commercial Use Programming Agreement” while citing “Section 612 of the Communications Act” was in conflict with the standard forms used by nearly all cable sites with a number of 'terms or conditions' FCC has ruled not applicable.

For starters this 'adhesion contract' had them withholding one minute each hour or half-hour show, which I imagine put the rate above the maximum allowable by FCC's formula where the total of all part time rates for a month cannot exceed the allowable monthly rate. Most LAPers buy time in bulk, by the half or full hour, meaning the full 69 minutes, add value by creating shows and use standard 30-second TV commercials to meet their business plan. This major cable operator by withholding time, deprives the LAPer of two of those 'spots'. Ironically cable operators today make a considerable portion of their income from the sale of 30-second commercials in available ad slots of network shows they carry.

Two of the zones in this particular cable system are very close to being filled with users and I'm guessing they've been cheating these users the valuable time for a very long time. If ever two or more of the users on this system compare notes (airtime contracts masqueraded as 'leased access agreements' and discover they've been shortchanged, it could perhaps find this particular cable system paying back thousands of dollars in ill-gotten funds.

If any reader feels they may not have the proper FCC supported leased access agreement, or that they may be subject to any type mistreatment by the cable operator, they're welcome to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , provide us information on how they think they may be treated wrongfully and we'll look into it, LAPA member or not.

--
Charlie Stogner
StogTv

Cable site charges LAPer over 4 times what it would cost to use Internet delivery of programming.

Are you getting full benefit from Leased Access rules or are you being 'ripped off' by your cable operator?

From time to time, heretofore unidentified LAPers (Leased Access Programmers) discover the association and from what they share it's amazing how they're often charged for services they should not have to pay for under the law and FCC rules applicable to Section 612 of the Communications Act of 1934 (Commercial Leased Access).

For example it was recently learned a reasonably long time LAPer is being charged over four and a half times (4.5X) what can be the cost of having a direct feed with 'live TV' capabilities. In this case this represents $540 a month-- funds that are going into the pockets of the cable operator and not the programmer.

Not exactly sure where it is found in FCC materials but not too long ago I read where in the most recent recorded report cable operators reported some 1,000 leased access users. In all probability some sites have multiple users (check out the leased access channel for Time Warner Manhattan) so this begs the question, "just how many of the estimated 7,000 U.S. local cable sites don't have a single user availing themselves of the benefits of the law"?

But what is known is that FCC rules require cable operators to basically provide the same type technical services and assistance to leased access users as they do to non-leased users and at the same cost.

In a case where a LAPer was being charged for "Business Services" (in this case Services to tie into the system’s headend), FCC commented in the order for the LAPer's "Petition for Relief" that, "The implicit fee system was devised to account for all the ancillary costs associated with a leased access provider gaining access to the subject cable system.The only charges that are permitted outside of the implicit fee are those for technical services not provided for free to non-leased access users"

1.Without revealing the site location, name of the Lease Acess Programmer or cable operator, it's noteworthy what FCC ruled.IT IS ORDERED that within 30 days from the release date of this order, Cox Media New Orleans SHALL CEASE imposing on Real Estate TV, Inc., separate fees, if any, for access to the cable system headend and shall refund to Real Estate TV, Inc. all monies collected thus far, if any, for the purpose of such attachment.

Perhaps worth wondering is how much refund may be due LAPers who like the one in this order have been subjected to paying for services the rules do not allow them to charge for.

If you're an active LAPer and/or someone taking a serious look at exercising the right to having your programming on the cable site of your choice under the FCC regulated rates, why not email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and provide a brief review of your operation to have the association see if you may face expenses not permitted by the law and FCC rules?

A Quick Overview of Leased Access

Here’s a quick overview of ‘leased access’ and how by exercisingthis little known law, programmers with no affiliation with the local cable operator must be provided airtime on a channel for commercial content free from any editorial control of the operator.

Rates for this airtime are normally based on ‘time of day’ with cable operators charging the highest ‘per hour’ price for evening time slots and the lowest during early AM.However, the total of all time slots when compiled for a full month cannot exceed a ‘per subscriber’ amount set by FCC.

Cable sites can, and most do, charge for technical assistance if of a type not provided other ‘non-leased’ programmers. This is usually an ‘insertion’ or handling fee for physically putting the program in whatever device they use to play the video for transmission to the channel.

Additionally FCC has long agreed operators can require LAPers (leased access programmers) to require the user to carry “Media Perils” insurance.

While the law and FCC rules have it appear this should be as simple and easy as securing a bulk mail permit and then meeting post office handling requirements when mailing, the fact is FCC is so lax in their administration it results in operators often hindering the actual use of airtime.

This is where our associationattempts to help by seeing that those enterprising television programmers desiring to avail themselves of the local distribution considered important enough by Congress to establish ‘leased access’ under Section 612 of the Communications Act, as amended (47 USC 532, 47 CFR 76.970 et seq.)

LAPA president Charlie Stogner’s StogTv network has an ‘affiliate’ program that secures the necessary agreements, provides the insurance and assists the local programmer in getting a show or shows on the cable site they choose.In addition, they can provide the infrastructure to bypass any local cable ‘insertion’ or handling fees as well as offering ‘live TV’ capability, separate from the airtime.

StogTv fees for both airtime access and technical support are scheduled to be less than it would cost a local programmer to deal direct with the cable site. There is a modest fee for becoming an affiliate and is to offset some of the expense in time required to get a formal leased access agreement with a local site and there is a minimum one-year lease on the equipment necessary for circumventing cable handling fees.

As president of LAPA (Leased Access Programmers Association), Stogner gladly provides basic information on what is needed for any prospective LAPer to secure airtime.If the prospect wishes to be an affiliate and have StogTv handle getting them on the cable site, then the affiliate fee is required in advance of any activity on their part.