Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Speech TV to Launch on Basic Cable

Burlington Telecom, the publicly owned cable, internet and phone utility in my hometown, will add Free Speech TV to its basic cable line up on March 1. It will become Channel 122 for thousands of Vermont cable subscribers. Although FSTV already reaches millions via satellite and DIRECTV, this will be its first US appearance on a basic cable line up
    It wasn't quite a done deal until today, when a Kickstarter fundraising campaign finished raising almost $3,000 in less than a week ...

The video above was produced by Friends of Free Speech TV, a Burlington area group organized to make FSTV's launch happen. It include clips from the channel. Please take a look.... 
    To insure carriage on the basic tier received by all cable subscribers, FSTV and its supporters agreed to raise $10,000 to cover some start-up costs -- by the end of February! 
    A Friends of Free Speech TV group stepped up, a $5,000 match was offered, and the rest was raised in the last days of the month. If the goal wasn't reached, the match would have been lost, possibly jeopardizing the basic cable deal.

FSTV is an essential alternative on television. It airs Democracy Now! three times daily, and has coverage of cutting-edge current affairs like the Occupy movement and many independently-produced documentaries. A daily talk show hosted by Thom Hartmann features “Brunch with Bernie,” a Friday noon discussion and call-in segment with Vermont's Independent US senator.
    The mission of FSTV is to “inspire viewers to become civically engaged to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable society,” says Greg Epler-Wood, a former member of BT’s Community Advisory Council and member of Friends of FSTV.
    It was a race to the finish. But we made it! Congratulations and thanks to all who took part.
UPDATED 2/29/2012

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