Cablevision
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Programming > Access Programming > Program Policies and Procedures


Applying For Access

Application for use of the Access Channels shall be in writing and shall be in the form of the Access User Application, which must be submitted at least fifteen (15) days (but not more than seven (7) weeks) in advance of the desired date and time of the proposed initial cablecast. At least fifteen (15) days in advance of the desired date and time of the cablecast, the Applicant must execute and file with Cablevision an Access User Contract. However, if no prior request has been made for the time and date requested, Cablevision may waive or reduce the aforementioned time periods. (As required by New York State Law, if no prior request has been made for the time and date requested, Cablevision will accept an Application, Access User Contract, and accompanying tape upon no less than seventy-two (72) hours notice.)

Please be sure that you have read and understand the Cablevision Public, Educational, and Government Access Rules.

Although Cablevision encourages all area residents to participate in the access experience, no person under 18 years of age may become an Access User or use the Cablevision Production Facilities.

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Policies For Access Channel Use

Any person residing in, or group or organization operating within, the Cablevision Service Area, as listed, and making proper application may submit for telecast video and audio material for Access Programming.

Application for the telecast of programming produced outside of the Cablevision Service Area may be submitted and sponsored only by a person, group, organization or other entity residing in or serving the Cablevision Service Area. Cablevision shall deal only with such sponsor.

For scheduling purposes and in accordance with industry practice, recommended show length is 29 minutes. Special arrangements for other program lengths can be mutually arranged. Cablevision shall begin all programs on the hour and half hour only.

Cablevision is not responsible for tapes damaged during playback or lost or damaged during storage. For your safety and the safety of our equipment, please do not submit tape masters, tapes worn from multiple use, or tapes damaged by moisture, dirt or food.

Tapes are requested to be delivered five (5) business days before the requested telecast date and time. If a tape is not delivered within seventy-two (72) hours before a requested telecast date and time, Cablevision may refuse to cablecast such tape. When the first tape is delivered, no more than four (4) tapes may be dropped off. Upon request, a receipt will be issued for each such tape. Although Cablevision shall take all reasonable care of a tape, Cablevision is not responsible for loss or damage to any such tape left in Cablevision's custody beyond fourteen (14) days of the final cablecast. If you need to have your tape returned by mail, you must provide the packaging, postage and any receipt(s) issued to you by Cablevision.

Access Program Content:

Access Programming may not contain any audio or visual material which presents a commercial transaction. Nor may they contain a solicitation of funding or names and addresses that might later be used for non-political or commercial fundraising. Factors that Cablevision will review and consider, as a whole, in determining whether a program presents a commercial transaction, include whether the program:

  1. proposes the sale of goods or services;
  2. promotes a commercial enterprise or product;
  3. contains business addresses or logos;
  4. gives an address, phone number, or web site to "call for more information" during the body of the program;
  5. posts a phone number or web address;
  6. suggests that a guest's company is better than others in the field;
  7. lists the company of affiliation of a program guest multiple times as commercial promotion rather than credential;
  8. contains a "call to action" with regard to a commercial item or service; or
  9. contains a "900" or similar "pay" telephone number.
  • If your program contains copyrighted material, please be certain that you have obtained all rights for the use of that material. You may be asked to furnish proof of that permission. Talent release forms should be signed by all people appearing on access programs.

  • Cablevision recommends that Applicant assign a rating to its Access Programming in accordance with the television industry's parental guidelines based upon strong language, violence or mature subject matter that may be contained in Applicant's Access Programming (such ratings are TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14 and TV-MA). Such rating shall appear either before the start of the Access Programming or as part of its title. A brief description of each such rating is set forth below:
    • TV-Y: This program is designed to be appropriate for all children ages 2-6.

    • TV-Y7: This program is designed for children ages 7 and above. Themes and elements in the program may include mild fantasy or comedic violence and may frighten children under 7.

    • TV-G: This program is suitable for all ages, general audience. It contains little or no violence, no strong language and little or no sexual dialogue or situations.

    • TV-PG: (Parental Guidance Suggested). This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children. May contain one or more of the following: mild violence, some sexual situations, infrequent coarse language or some suggestive dialogue.

    • TV-14: (Parents Strongly Cautioned). This program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age. This program contains one or more of the following: intense violence, intense sexual situations, strong course language, or intensely suggestive dialogue.

    • TV-MA: (Mature Audiences Only). This program is specifically designed for adults. It contains one or more of the following: graphic violence, explicit sexual activity or crude indecent language.


  • In order to minimize the likelihood of exposing minors to Indecent Material, as that term is defined in Cablevision's PEG Access Rules, Cablevision encourages Applicant to schedule this type of programming after 10:00 p.m. Further, if Applicant fails to rate its program, Cablevision reserves the right to assign an appropriate rating, in its reasonable discretion.

  • Cablevision will not edit prohibited material from Access Programming.

  • Copies of your program, dubbed by Cablevision staff, will be made for a fee of $25 per half-hour show.

Access Program Credits:

Access Programming may identify the source of support or funding for the production. Recommended access program funding and/or service credits include:

  1. On screen - Corporate or organization names may be printed to resemble the following examples:

    "Funding provided by ____________________________."
    "Set facilities provided by _____________________________."
  2. Voice over - An audio credit may state the following:

    "This program was made possible by an underwriting grant from __________________."
    No further description of the company or organization or its products or location will be allowed.

  3. Funding must be used for equipment, goods, or services needed for the production of an access program and cannot be distributed as salaries to producer, director, crew, talent, or others, or their families.

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Reserving Public Access Channel Time

Access Programming time is reserved on a first-come, first-served, non-discriminatory basis for a maximum of twenty six (26) weeks. Cablevision's Annual Calendar consists of two twenty-six (26) week quarters, which run approximately as follows: April 1st - September 30th, October 1st - March 31st. The specific annual calendar for each year indicating the specific dates of each quarter shall be available upon request. In the event that proper application is made after the commencement of a session for the then-current session, an Access User may reserve the balance of the twenty-six (26) week period. Contracts may be renewed for an additional twenty-six (26) weeks by submitting a written Access User Application and Contract Renewal Form. If another Access User would like to schedule his/her program at the time that your program usually runs, you may be required to relinquish that spot after a twenty-six (26) week run, with reasonable notification.

In order to ensure that all reserved timeslots will be used, Access Users are asked to reserve a time period only if they are certain that they will have a program ready in time to fill that timeslot.

Cablevision recommends that each edition of a program run a maximum of four times so that the access channels will present variety and maintain viewer interest.

In order to accommodate all Access Users, Cablevision reserves the right to limit each access producer to one program per contract period.

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Technical Specifications For Airing Tapes

  • Programming may be accepted on one or all of the following formats: (see system-specific information)
  • Programming must be recorded in U.S. NTSC video format and should be of good technical quality.
  • Tapes should be dubbed down no further than 3rd generation.
  • An unbroken and stable control track must exist throughout the entire program length, as well as at least thirty (30) seconds prior to the program start time.
  • At least thirty (30) seconds of black should follow at the end of the program--no false endings.
  • The head of the tape must contain thirty (30) seconds of control track, which may consist of bars, tone, slate or - at minimum - studio black.
  • The 2 seconds of pre-roll just before the first video/audio must be studio black.
  • Run time is the total length of the program material aired, beginning with the first audio/video and ending with the last audio/video. It does not include bars, black, slate or countdown preceding the show, but should include credits and/or public service announcements added to the end of the show.
  • Do not leave "holes" in the middle of the program. The public access staff does not insert commercials or PSAs.
  • Video level must not be too "hot". (Over 100 units of video as measured on a video scope.)
  • Audio level must not be overmodulated (too high) or too low, and should range between -8 db and 0 db.
  • Only one program per tape is permitted. Multiple programs on a single tape cassette are not acceptable for cablecast.
  • Tape jackets and the tape cassette both must be properly labeled by the producer with information about the program, including: 1) series name, 2) segment title and/or number, 3) cablecast date(s), 4) program length, and 5) in time.

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Reserving Cablevision Production Facilities; Production Facilities Policies

  • Cablevision's Production Facilities are available only to Qualified Access Users currently working on Access Programming on file with the office, and only to work on said programming.
  • Production Facilities are reserved by the Access Producer for a specific time period, not by project.
  • Prior to Production Facility usage, the following must be filed with Cablevision: a) an Application for the Production Facility Use, an Access User Application, and Access User Contract; b) proof of residency (permanent domicile) within the Cablevision Service Area; c) a complete shooting schedule; d) a complete crew list; and e) a list of any props or additional materials to be brought into the facility.
  • Access Users may utilize the Production Facilities for the production of Access Programming. While the Production Facilities are here and available for this purpose, no other Cablevision facilities may be used without the express consent of the company, including but not limited to all office equipment and machinery, such as copy machines, telephones, typewriters, and desk items (pens, pencils, staplers, tape, etc.).
  • Access Users are admitted to the Cablevision Production Facility areas only. They are not permitted to walk around the building unaccompanied. It is expected that Access Users will treat the access and building staffs and other Access Users with respect and courtesy. Verbal and/or physical abuse of staff members or other access users may result in the suspension of access privileges. Repeated instances of disrespect or abuse may result in the revocation of all access privileges.
  • Production Facility Reservation Policies and Application Forms for the reservation and use of Cablevision's Production Access Facilities are available. Please locate and complete the forms which apply to the facilities and equipment that you need to produce your Access program.
  • In order to ensure a smooth, well run presentation, please advise the staff well in advance if you have booked any extraordinary presentation which might require additional equipment, space, or facilities.
  • Please make other arrangements for the care and supervision of children and animals, since they may not join you in the access area.
  • If you plan to have animals on your program, please make certain that they are properly caged for their safety and the safety of other Access Users.
  • The policies and procedures for the use of the specific pieces of equipment available in this Cablevision system are attached. Please make certain that you review these documents and complete the information forms which accompany them.

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Studio Policies

  • Access Users utilizing Cablevision's studios are subject to the general Cablevision Production Facilities Policies set forth in the Access Program and Facilities Policies and Procedures included hereto.
  • The program producer must be present during any studio usage. A maximum of 4 non- consecutive sessions (see system-specific information) may be booked at any time.
  • Only crew members and talent directly involved with the production are allowed in the studio (guests, observers, audiences, etc. are allowed only with the consent of the Public Access staff). All studio participants (including crew, talent, guests, and visitors) must enter the building from the front door and must sign in with building security, where applicable, prior to commencing studio operations. The crew log-in sheet must be complete before studio production begins. Visitors should be kept to the minimum and will be seated in the green room during production. No one other than crew will be allowed in the control room or studio area.
  • Wherever possible and in order to maximize the availability of Cablevision's studio, pre-production meetings and planning sessions should take place outside of the Cablevision Studio and prior to the scheduled use of the studio.
  • Use of the Cablevision studio for the production of programs that feature bands or other guests whose sound cannot be contained within the studio and might be a disturbance to other departments in the building may need to be scheduled at times outside of regular business hours.
  • Room temperature in the studio must be kept cool for optimal machinery functioning. Please dress appropriately and do not adjust room temperature settings.
  • Do not re-patch, re-configure, or alter any settings on equipment. Ask the staff to assist you. Please report immediately to the staff any equipment problems that you are experiencing. Do not attempt to make equipment repairs yourself.
  • No food or drink is allowed while using the studio. No smoking is allowed on the premises.
  • Please be prompt in your arrival to and departure from the studio, and adhere to your reserved time slot. There should be no loitering in the access area after your allotted studio time is finished. You are expected to leave the area promptly and in a clean and orderly condition when your booked time slot is over so that the facility is ready for the next access user.
  • When finished with cameras:
    - Lock tilt locks (not brakes or drags) in a slightly downward angle.
    - Return cameras to initial location and coil the cameras multi-cables (in "over/under" manner).
  • Sweep/clean up all articles associated with your production.
  • Return appropriate equipment to the office and wait for staff to check before you leave.
  • Do not "power down" equipment after shift.
  • If you are unsure about any procedure or piece of equipment, please ask the staff.

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Editing Facilities

  • Access Users utilizing Cablevision's editing facilities are subject to the general Cablevision Production Facilities Policies set forth in the Access Program and Facilities Policies and Procedures attached hereto.
  • Time can be reserved for editing by submitting an Editing Application for the date(s) and time(s) requested. Editing booths may be reserved for up to (see system-specific information for time periods).
  • Editing facilities are booked for work on Access Programs only. A maximum of two (2) non-consecutive sessions (see system-specific information) may be booked at any given time.
  • Only producers and editors directly involved with an editing project may be present in the editing room, and no more than 2 at any one time. No others can be admitted to the editing area by producers working in the editing room or studio.
  • Any producer/editor wishing to do a "voice-over" audio dub must make arrangements prior to booking time so that needed equipment is provided.
  • Please be prompt in your arrival to and departure from the edit suite and please adhere to your reserved time slot.

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Electronic Field Production Packages

  • Access Users utilizing Cablevision's electronic field production packages are subject to the general Cablevision Production Facilities Policies set forth in the Access Program and Facilities Policies and Procedures attached hereto.
  • EFP packages may be booked for a maximum of 2 non-consecutive 24-hour periods. Units taken out on Saturdays (or before holidays) must be returned the following working day by 10:00 AM.
  • The Access Equipment Use Agreement is attached hereto and must be completed before any equipment use is commenced.
  • Producers utilizing EFP units should familiarize themselves with the regulations and equipment liabilities as outlined in Cablevision's Public Access Rules and User Contract.
  • The Public Access Area currently has EFP packages consisting of (see system-specific information for available equipment). Equipment needed beyond what is currently available is the responsibility of the producer.
  • EFP equipment is booked/reserved as a complete unit. Producers booking a unit have the option to use all or part of that unit, but remaining articles cannot be made available to other producers, as the package must be maintained for the next user.

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Portable Studio

  • Access Users utilizing Cablevision's editing facilities are subject to the general Cablevision Production Facilities Policies set forth in the Access Program and Facilities Policies and Procedures attached hereto.
  • The portable studio can be reserved by a group applying to tape an event or program requiring a multiple-camera presentation. A Portable Studio Application indicating a request for the use of this equipment should be submitted at least two (2) weeks in advance. Confirmation of the availability of the portable studio on the requested date will be given in writing within five business days of Cablevision's receipt of the Portable Studio Application and Access User Contract.
  • All members of the production crew should have attended a training session prior to the event to learn the intricacies of this "studio in a box."

Note: Cablevision's portable studio weighs a considerable amount. Please plan to lift and transport appropriately and cautiously. Cablevision will not be held responsible for physical injury caused by improper lifting or transporting of equipment.

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Mobile Production Van

  • Access Users utilizing Cablevision's editing facilities are subject to the general Cablevision Production Facilities Policies set forth in the Access Program and Facilities Policies and Procedures attached hereto.
  • The mobile production van can be reserved by a group applying to tape an event or program requiring a multiple-camera presentation. A Mobile Production Van Application must be submitted at least thirty (30) days in advance of the event, and a crew of at least nine (9) people is required. Cablevision will provide a staff member, who will serve as Video Engineer. Confirmation of the availability of the mobile production van on the requested date will be given in writing within five (5) business days of Cablevision's receipt of the Mobile Production Van Application, Access Use Application, and Access User Contract.

Note: Due to the time required to set up the mobile production van and all of its equipment at the site, the van should be scheduled to arrive at least four (4) hours in advance of the event.

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Training Workshop

In order to use any of the Cablevision Production Facilities, one must first become a Qualified Facility User by successfully completing a competency exam which measures Applicant's understanding of the use of Cablevision's Production Facilities. For those without previous training or experience, Cablevision provides training workshops on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the year. Consisting of lecture and hands-on experience in production techniques, workshops are scheduled on a regular basis and are an excellent way to become qualified and to meet other users who are potential production crew members. A Training Workshop Application can be obtained by calling or writing the Access Staff.

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Volunteers

Volunteers are vital to the spirit of community access experience. Cablevision maintains a list of people who have passed the qualifying exam and/or successfully completed the access training workshop and who are willing to assist others in the production of their Access Programming. If you are interested in volunteering or in obtaining the names of current volunteers, please check the Volunteer List.

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Policy Enforcement

Cancellation Policy:

Access Users cancelling scheduled Production Facility Use time must call twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the scheduled slot. Reserved time is non-transferable. Failure to comply with such consideration will subject Access User to the Suspension Guidelines attached hereto.

Late Policy:

Access Users who will be late for scheduled facilities use must call in advance. Access users more than one half-hour late for scheduled appointments are subject to the Suspension Guidelines attached hereto. Cablevision reserves the right to schedule other applicants in their places.

Cablevision PEG Rules And Regulations:

Access Users who violate the Cablevision PEG Rules and Regulations pertaining to Access Channel Usage or Production Facilities Usage will be subject to the Suspension Guidelines attached hereto.