One of the greatest challenges facing government access programmers today is “access” -- access to ideas, access to programming, access to sponsorships, and access to one another.  Imagine the creation of a community in which access isn’t a barrier, but rather a foundation.

As cable television technology evolves and becomes more sophisticated, viewers will have more channels and options from which to choose.  In order to maintain their audiences, government access channels will need to provide a expanding variety of quality programming.  Comet makes this possible.

Community Media Television, otherwise known as “Comet,” is a service for government access programmers created by government access programmers.  Comet is a non-profit volunteer-based start-up operation provided through SCAN NATOA – the States of California and Nevada (SCAN) Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA).

The concept behind Comet is the creation of a government access “network,” made up of individual government access channels.  This network will have an audience viewership large enough to attract meaningful programming and resources that otherwise might not be available to channels on an individual basis.  As a joint entity, Comet will be able to leverage its newfound power and influence with sponsors, programmers, etc.  Additionally, Comet serves as a central hub where programming and resources can be shared and accessed.

The services to be provided by Comet include:

  • Programming – Series and individual shows will be available at a low cost for channels to dub and return to Comet.

  • Marketing Resources – Different marketing campaigns that are geared specifically to government access channels will be made available.  Such campaigns will include logos, animation, promos, idea samplers, etc.

  • Web Site – The Comet Network web site will provide articles of interest, reference materials, job listings and other resources to government access programmers.

  • List Serve – the Comet List Serve is a forum exclusively set-up to meet the needs of government access programmers.  Through the forum access channels will be able to share ideas, get feedback and compare experiences with their colleagues.

When compared to other commercial cable channels, government access channels have modest resources and must use creative tactics to keep their channels filled with programming of interest to the community.  Comet strives to assist government access channels in fulfilling their needs and stretching their resources to serve the community.