Community Cable Program
Cable Channel Affiliate Program
Public, Educational, and Government Stations
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are Free Speech TV Affiliate Stations?
Since 1995, Free Speech TV has made its unique programming available for part-time carriage, at no cost, to public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable stations, college television stations, and to public television stations. Stations carrying our programming are known as "Free Speech TV Affiliates." There are currently more than 200 Free Speech TV Affiliates across the U.S. For a complete list of affiliate stations, visit http://freespeech.org/affiliates.
2. What kind of programming does Free Speech TV offer?
Free Speech TV's programming covers a broad range of social, economic and environmental justice issues. It features voices from communities traditionally under-represented by the corporate media, such as people of color, the working poor, immigrants, youth, the other-abled, and queer people. Programs shine a national spotlight on the campaigns of organizations working for social change.
Current running programs include: Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera English, The Thom Hartmann Program, GAY USA, David Pakman, and Laura Flanders. We also air independently produced documentaries, keynotes by progressive leaders, live coverage of national movements, major elections, and conferences such as Netroots Nation and Take Back the American Dream.
3. What are the ways my station can rebroadcast Free Speech TV?
There are several ways to rebroadcast Free Speech TV that fall into two categories. We refer to them as the “Linear” feed and the “VOD” (Videos on Demand) feed. You can access our linear feed (1) If you own your own satellite, we can provide our broadcast coordinates. (2) If you don’t own your own satellite, you can contract with DISH satellite to install one that picks up our feed. This requires an installation and annual fees that your station will be responsible for. (3) You can also now air FSTV with the purchase of a Roku box. The Roku box receives streaming content to your station and the content can be moved via RCA or HDMI output. This gives your station access to our high-quality linear stream. The other category is the VOD feed. This grants you the ability to use Roku or our website to grab videos on demand that are regularly updated. By streaming us via Roku, you are granted access to both our linear feed and our VOD feed, but how you use them is up to you.
4. What are the terms for carrying Free Speech TV programs?
The terms for carrying Free Speech TV programs are detailed in an "Affiliate Retransmission Agreement" that provides stations with the right to retransmit Free Speech TV. Both your station and Free Speech TV must sign a copy of this agreement before the Affiliate can begin airing our programs. We ask Affiliates to air a minimum of eight hours of programming every month. Each station chooses which programs to air, at the their discretion. Many stations have built dedicated audiences by choosing to run Free Speech TV content in consistent daily and/or weekly time slots. Affiliates may re-transmit any program broadcast by Free Speech TV. Most programs must be re-transmitted live from the feed. However, to accommodate the unique guidelines of many PEG stations, Free Speech TV airs weekly "Access Fridays - Special Programs" containing ten hours of programs that can be recorded by the station for broadcast within a four-week window. If you’re rebroadcasting us via Roku, many of our shows and documentaries will appear in the “Videos on Demand” section. You may reair any content in the V.O.D. section so long as it is still listed there.
5. How much will it cost my station to carry Free Speech TV programs?
Free Speech TV provides all of our programming to affiliate stations for free. The costs entirely depend on how you’re receiving our signal. If you’re receiving our feed from Roku, it’s a one time purchase of a receiver box, which can range from $40-$100, depending on the model. If you don’t own a satellite and wish to enter an agreement with DISH Network, a one-year subscription generally costs around $468. An HD receiver is required by DISH Network. Installation fees are generally around $120. DISH Network subscriptions, equipment and installation are the responsibility of the individual station and should be ordered from your local DISH Network.
6. How can my station or a viewer find out what Free Speech TV is airing?
Free Speech TV posts its weekly program schedules approximately three weeks in advance at www.freespeech.org/tv-schedule. This broadcast schedule is searchable by date and by individual program titles. The schedule includes a program MPAA rating, genre, and brief synopsis for every program. Many programs can even be previewed in a web friendly format. Schedules are subject to change. Occasionally, we will send out notifications to station liaisons via an affiliate listserv regarding special programs or live events.
7. Can Free Speech TV promote my station?
FSTV lists all affiliate stations, which can be found here: www.freespeech.org/affiliates. This includes regular local airtimes and links to your stations website. In this way, viewers can find out when Free Speech TV programs air in their community. If the station is re-transmitting Free Speech TV programs live, viewers can then search our Free Speech TV's on-line schedule to find out what we will be airing during regularly scheduled cablecasts at that time.
8. How can my station begin carrying Free Speech TV programs?
You should start by contacting Free Speech TV's Operations Director, Nathanael Reeder (303-442-8445 x102 or Than@freespeech.org) and he will guide you through the relatively simple process, which includes the following steps:
a. You must return a signed Free Speech TV Affiliate Agreement to Free Speech TV. You can fax it to 303-442-6472, send the contract to us by mail at Free Speech TV PO Box 44099 Denver, CO 80201, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
b. Once Free Speech TV receives your signed Affiliate Agreement, you will be contacted by the PEG Affiliate Coordinator, who will confirm receipt and answer any questions you may have.
c. It is your station's responsibility to order and necessary equipment or subscriptions and to have your equipment professionally installed. Once installed, the receiver easily integrates into a broadcast facility using a simple audio/video switch. Your broadcast operator can then switch from your primary signal to retransmit Free Speech TV "live" off the DISH Network or Roku receiver.
d. Once you have begun transmitting Free Speech TV for seven days, please inform us that the service is functional. You can then begin broadcasting programs from Free Speech TV's feed, per the terms of the Affiliate Agreement. Enjoy!
For more information, please contact:
Community & Outreach Coordinator