Public Access TV

NOTE: Contract funding for the Public Access Channel program ended June 30, 2020. With the contract expiration, Seattle Community Media ended all operations. On-demand Seattle Community Media producer content can still be located at www.archive.org/details/SeattleCommunityMedia.   

Public Access Program History 

The Seattle Community College District served as Seattle's Public Access Channel manager from 2011-2020, operating public access television as Seattle Community Media.

Seattle Community Media broadcasted the public access television signal and managed all related public access television services, allowing community members to produce and air their own programs on the channel [Comcast Channel 77 / Wave Channel 23].  The services included:

  • Access to production tools like cameras, microphones, and editing and studio space.
  • Access to stream programs on-demand on the Seattle Community Media website and access to a wide variety of easy-to-use online tools.
  • Ability to control the messaging about producer-created programs that television viewers and online viewers will see.
  • Ability to upload finished programs from anywhere a producer had access to the web and to schedule when the program will air.

Community members interested in using the services, facilities and equipment of Seattle Community Media  become a "member" for a small annual fee.  Becoming a Seattle Community Media member/producer provided residents with a venue to broadcast their message to viewers throughout King County. The equipment was available for producers to use at the North Seattle Community College facility, or to borrow for use outside of the facility.

The Seattle Community College District (SCCD) became Seattle's Public Access Channel manager In July 2011. Prior to SCCD, Seattle Community Access Network (SCAN) served as the City's public access channel manager. With a contract expiration of December 31, 2010, the City issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek a public access provider for the next contract period. The RFP reflected a new model for Seattle public access television, based on the belief that advances in digital media production and distribution technologies create new, lower-cost alternatives for community and individual expression. The new model sought to rely less on financial support from the City and to supplement traditional television production techniques with new social media technologies.

The planning for the RFP and future operation of public access television included Seattle's Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB) and Office of Cable Communications seeking input from viewers, producers and operators, representatives of the film and video industry, non-profit organizations, community groups and interested members of the public. An online survey and questionnaire were used, along with CTAB hosting a public workshop and conducting targeted interviews with limited English speaking producers and viewers. For results of the online survey and questionnaire, see the below links.

For more details on City's contract with the Seattle Community College District VI, including RFP and SCCD proposal documents, see Seattle City Ordinance 123640