Policies and Procedures
Please refer to the following Policies and Procedures if
you are interested in volunteering on a production crew,
producing a program or requesting the playback of a program
produced elsewhere. These have been approved by both the
Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees and the Birmingham
Area Cable Board.
Adopted May 2002
Revised February 2003
Revised March 2008
Revised May 2010
Revised March 2011
Revised June 2012
Bloomfield Community Television (BCTV) was established by
the Charter Township of Bloomfield in 1983 to provide its
residents and others active in community life access to
local television. BCTV provides programming to Bloomfield
Township and Bloomfield Hills according to its original
franchise obligation, and to Birmingham, Beverly Hills,
Franklin and Bingham Farms by contract with the Birmingham
Area Cable Board (BACB).
The mission of BCTV is to facilitate the production and
cablecast of television programs which reflect the interests
and activities of the community and inform and enrich the
lives of the people in our viewing area.
1.3 Definitions and Acronyms
- BCTV: Bloomfield Community Television,
- BACB: Birmingham Area Cable Board,
- PEG: Public, Educational and Government Access
- PDC: Program Development Committee,
- FCC: Federal Communications Commission,
- CAB: Cable Advisory Board,
- CG: Character Generator,
- Series: more than one program under one project
1.4 Cable Providers
- Comcast (offered as Xfinity)
- AT&T (offered as Uverse)
- Wide Open West (WOW)
2.1 Channel Operation
Programs produced by BCTV may be seen on Comcast Channel
15 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Bloomfield Township and
Bloomfield Hills and Comcast Channels 18 and 15, WOW
Channels 18 and 10, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in
Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin. The
BACB’s Birmingham Area Municipal Access (BAMA) airs on
Comcast channel 15 and WOW channel 10. The BACB’s Birmingham
Area Public Access (BAPA) airs on Comcast channel 18 and WOW
channel 18 All municipal and public access shows air on AT&T
2.2 Financial Support
BCTV’s operations are funded by franchise fees and public
benefit monies paid by the cable operator under terms
specified in Bloomfield Township’s Cable Franchises and
Bloomfield Township’s Code of Ordinances, Chapter 34,
2.3 Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees
Bloomfield Township’s Board of Trustees grants to
residents of Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills the
privilege of using the Township channel for programs that
benefit the community. The Board charges the BCTV staff, the
Program Development Committee and the Cable Access Board the
authority to implement appropriate programming.
2.4 Cable Access Board
The Cable Access Board (CAB) is an advisory commission
consisting of members acting under the jurisdiction of the
Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees and the City of
Bloomfield Hills. Its function is to manage, allocate and
review the use of the public benefit resources provided by
the cable operator and to recommend to the Township and the
City appropriate regulatory actions that may improve the
public benefits potential of the cable system. It meets as
necessary throughout the year. The BACB appoints a
representative to attend all meetings of the CAB.
2.5 Program Development Committee
The Program Development Committee (PDC) is an advisory
committee consisting of residents of Bloomfield Township,
Bloomfield Hills and a designee of the BACB. Its function is
to review all program proposals for BCTV and the BACB with
regard to their eligibility, the soundness of their concept,
the practicality of their format and their demands on the
resources of BCTV. It is the PDC’s responsibility to work
with each potential producer to develop programs of the
highest technical and conceptual standards using the
2.6 Birmingham Area Cable Board
In January 2001, BCTV entered into a contractual
agreement with the Birmingham Area Cable Board (BACB) to
provide public and municipal and library access programming.
BCTV is responsible for the day-to-day operations of this
programming; all policies governing the two BACB channels
are determined by the BACB.
2.7. Bloomfield Community Television (BCTV) Staff
BCTV staff members are employees of Bloomfield Township
and work under the conditions set forth in the Bloomfield
Township Employee Handbook. They carry out the production
needs of BCTV and the duties agreed to in the contract
between BCTV and the BACB.
3.0 Channel Identity and Content
3.1 BCTV: Community Access
Bloomfield Township’s Channel BCTV is a government access
channel governed by the Township’s Board of Trustees. The
Board of Trustees invites people active in community life to
produce television shows that provide useful, enriching and
entertaining information and programming to residents of
Bloomfield Township and surrounding communities. The
Trustees grant the Cable Access Board (CAB) authority to
allocate resources and the Program Development Committee (PDC)
the authority to set standards for programs.
3.2 BAMA: Municipal and Library Access
The BACB’s Municipal and Library Television Channel (BAMA)
is for the use of the communities represented by the
Birmingham Area Cable Board. As per contract outlined in
2.6, public meetings, events and programs sponsored by the
municipal governments and libraries are shown on this
3.3 BAPA: Public Access
The BACB’s Public Access Channel (BAPA) is a public
access channel for Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms
and Franklin. Residents of those communities may use the
channel as a forum for free speech and express a diversity
of viewpoints as outlined in the 1984 Federal Cable Act. The
channel may also air the programs produced for the BCTV
3.4 Program Placement
The channels BCTV and BAPA cablecast many of the same
programs; therefore, a producer who is a resident of a
community in one franchise area may, but is not entitled to,
have his or her program also aired on the channel of the
other communities. This dual privilege is granted for each
channel by either the BACB or the CAB for their communities
4.0 Production Roles and Responsibilities
BCTV staff members are paid employees of Bloomfield
Township and work under the conditions set forth in the
Bloomfield Township Employee Handbook. They carry out the
production needs of BCTV and the duties agreed to in the
contract between BCTV and the BACB. They are responsible for
all production aspects, including but not limited to:
- working cooperatively with producers, volunteers and
- providing all technical & production expertise for
- training all community producers and volunteers;
- purchasing, maintaining and repairing equipment
- obtaining production crew;
- editing and post production;
- scheduling production in cooperation with producer;
- scheduling program broadcasts;
- operating channel playback.
- publicizing schedule of programs
- providing producer dubs
The producer is a community, municipal, library or public
access user who creates, plans, writes, and makes necessary
arrangements, appointments and reservations for a program.
The producer must meet eligibility requirements, as set
forth in section 6.0, and also must attend a Volunteer
Workshop. There should be one producer per program, and that
producer is the ultimate contact person/authority, on
questions or concerns regarding the program. The producer is
ultimately responsible for:
- All program content;
- Copyright approvals and FCC law;
- Creating and purchasing the set and having it
approved by staff before booking production time;
- Scheduling pre-production meetings at times that are
mutually convenient with BCTV staff;
- Scheduling the studio or other locations at times
that are mutually convenient with BCTV staff;
- Making all arrangements for production locations,
including confirming sufficient power and power outlets
for equipment and determining audio needs;
- Contacting and scheduling all hosts and guests who
appear on a program, and securing signed, accurate
standard release forms;
- Confirming and submitting accurate CG information
prior to a shoot;
- Requesting producer DUBs
It is the responsibility of the producer to contact BCTV
staff to cancel a shoot. The producer must make all
reasonable efforts to cancel 24 hours before a scheduled
A producer may schedule up to two tentative shoot dates
per series at one time, which will be noted on the studio
calendar. A tentative reservation will remain on the
calendar for no longer than two weeks. After the two week
time limit has ended the date must be confirmed by the
producer. If it is not confirmed it will be removed from the
calendar and the time slot freed up for other producers.
An endorser is a person who meets the
eligibility/residency requirements as set forth in Section
6.0, who chooses to preview, sign and sponsor a program for
playback for residents and/or organizations outside the BCTV
4.4 Community Access Volunteer
BCTV volunteers are required to attend a BCTV Volunteer
Workshop prior to using BCTV equipment. Volunteers are not
responsible for the programs on which they crew; volunteers
are responsible for the following:
- Using the equipment in a professional manner, as to
not damage or misuse the equipment in any way;
- Signing up or contacting BCTV staff to volunteer
- Adhering to accepted policies & procedures and rules
5.0 Program Development Process
Prospective producers must attend a Volunteer Workshop
before submitting a Program Proposal. The Program
Development Committee will meet four times each year to
consider proposals. Once a proposal has been approved and
assigned to a staff member, the producer must produce a show
within six months. If a program does not begin production
within six months, or if a show begins production but then
ceases production activities for six months or more, a new
Program Proposal must be submitted to the Program
Development Committee and the prospective producer must go
through the process again.
Before anyone can go on to produce a program he or she
must work as a volunteer camera operator on three separate
dates. In most cases a series will not begin to air until
the producer has produced at least four shows.
Current producers who do not produce a new show for a
period of six months or more must present a new Program
Proposal to the Program Development Committee in order to
6.0 Eligibility/Residency Requirements
All producers and endorsers must meet one of the following
eligibility requirements in order to use the resources of
BCTV or the BACB. The person must be 18 years of age or
older to be eligible to use access facilities, equipment and
channels. Those persons under age 18 may qualify for certain
community access services by having a parent or legal
guardian accept full legal and financial responsibility for
the actions of the minor by signing a waiver (see section
6.3 for complete policy regarding minors).
The communities for each channel are:
BCTV: Comcast Channel 15 and
AT&T Channel 99 in Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills
BAMA: Comcast Channel 15, WOW
Channel 10 and AT&T Channel 99 in City of Birmingham,
Village of Beverly Hills, Village of Franklin, and Village
of Bingham Farms
BAPA: Comcast Channel 18, WOW
Channel 18 and AT&T Channel 99 in City of Birmingham,
Village of Beverly Hills, Village of Franklin, and Village
of Bingham Farms.
Residency (defined as one who resides within the
municipalities of Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills,
Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin) in
one of the municipalities served by BCTV, which are
Bloomfield Township and Bloomfield Hills, or the BACB, which
are Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin,
as long as the BACB contract is in effect, as proven by a
driver’s license and/or a current utility bill which clearly
shows the name and address of the person requesting to
produce a program. A copy of proof of residency document
will be made at the time the program proposal is submitted
and kept in the program file. The person providing the
document may designate any information on it other than
their name and address as information of a personal nature,
the public disclosure of which will be considered to be a
clearly unwarranted invasion of that individual’s privacy.
6.2 Non-profit Organizations
A nonprofit 501(c) 3 charitable, service or political
organization serving any part of one or more of the local
communities served by BCTV or the BACB may produce a public
or community access program. It must register its proof of
nonprofit status with BCTV and shall designate one member of
the organization to be responsible for all producer
responsibilities. This producer is not required to meet the
usual eligibility requirements as defined in section 6.1.
6.3 Bloomfield Township Policy for Bloomfield Community
Regarding Minors Involved in Television Productions
Youth and teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 are
welcome at Bloomfield Community Television (BCTV) as
production volunteers. For their safety, the following rules
- A parent or guardian must attend the initial
volunteer workshop with the prospective volunteer.
- Youth between the ages of 12 and 15, inclusive, must
be accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent
or legal guardian during all studio and on-location
Occasionally, BCTV produces programs that involve
children as on-air talent. For their safety, the following
- A parent or guardian must sign a standard release
form, giving BCTV permission to include the child in
each program in which the child will appear.
- Children and youth up to age 15, inclusive, must be
accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian at
7.0 Programming Definitions and
BCTV program content regulations are pursuant to the
Communications Act governed by the Federal Communications
7.1 Obscene Broadcasts Are Prohibited at All Times
Obscene speech is not protected by the First Amendment
and cannot be broadcast at any time. To be obscene, material
must meet a three-prong test:
- An average person, applying contemporary community
standards, must find that the material, as a whole,
appeals to the prurient interest;
- The material must depict or describe, in a patently
offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by
applicable law; and
- The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious
literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
7.2 Indecent Broadcast Restrictions
The FCC has defined broadcast indecency as “language or
material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms
patently offensive as measured by contemporary community
broadcast standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or
excretory organs or activities.” Indecent programming
contains patently offensive sexual or excretory references
that do not rise to the level of obscenity. As such, the
courts have held that indecent material is protected by the
First Amendment and cannot be banned entirely.
It may, however, be restricted in order to avoid
broadcast during times of the day when there a reasonable
risk that children may be in the audience.
Consistent with a federal statute and federal court
decisions interpreting the indecency statute, the Commission
adopted a rule pursuant to which broadcasts -- both on
television and radio -- that fit within the indecency
definition and that are aired between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00
p.m. are subject to indecency enforcement action.
The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees reserves the
right not to air a program on BCTV between 10:00 PM – 6:00
AM based upon its expressed community broadcast standards
7.3 Profane Broadcast Restrictions
The FCC has defined profanity as including language that
“denote[s] certain of those personally reviling epithets
naturally tending to provoke violent resentment or denoting
language so grossly offensive to members of the public who
actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.”
Like indecency, profane speech is prohibited on broadcast
radio and television between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees reserves the
right to not air a program between 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM based
upon its expressed community broadcast standards regarding
The speaking of false and malicious words concerning
another whereby injury results to his or her reputation.
Slander is prohibited at all times.
A false and unprivileged publication in print, writing,
pictures or signs of defamatory material. Libel is
prohibited at all times.
The unprivileged publication of false statements which
result in injury to another (injure reputation, diminish the
esteem, respect, goodwill or confidence, or to excite
adverse, derogatory or unpleasant feelings or opinions
against another). Defamation is prohibited at all times.
7.7 Candidate and Political Programming
PEG Access Channels are not legally obligated to adhere
to the FCC “equal opportunity” rule or the Fairness
doctrine. These rules state that a channel that airs one
candidate or controversial issue on its channel, that the
opponent or opposing view must get equal opportunity to air
8.0 Underwriter and Sponsor Guidelines
Underwriting (the exchange of goods, service and/or
money) is allowed only for the support/improvement of a
production. (For example, a business may provide financial
assistance, materials, equipment, location, artist fees, or
other forms of in-kind support.) Underwriting is not allowed
for the personal gain of the producer, crew or sponsor or
for the payment of labor and time.
8.2 Recognition of Contributors
Contributors may be recognized in the programs credits
under the following conditions:
- A listing of the type of product or service provided
by the contributor;
- One credit cannot be longer than 10 seconds;
- The credit may be given once before and once after
- The credit cannot be within the content of the
- An official slogan or jingle may be used as long as
it is used elsewhere in their ordinary course of
business. For example: "Flowers for the set were
supplied by Flowers Forever, Inc...bringing joy through
flowers to Oakland County."
BCTV and/or any contractual clients accept no liability
for any disputes arising from underwriting contracts.
The following is prohibited from any show produced for,
with or by BCTV:
- Commercial (solicitation of goods and/or services)
content in any access program;
- Advertising by or on behalf of a political
- Soliciting for money;
- Lottery information;
- “Call to action” statements (e.g., “call us at …” or
“ask about our new line of products…”
- Inducements to buy, sell, rent or lease;
- Specific pricing information;
- Use of 1-800 and 1-888 (and similar) telephone
- Use of websites with direct links to purchase.
9.0 Producers and Volunteers Workshop
Everyone who wishes to become involved in access
programming in any capacity must attend at least one
workshop, and subsequent workshops, depending upon level of
desired involvement. The Introductory workshop will be held
a minimum of four times a year. Other production workshops
will be provided following the introductory workshop at BCTV
A person with prior experience in television production
or with other television production qualifications may be
able to bypass some of the production workshops at the
discretion of the BCTV staff. A test will be administered to
determine if the person qualifies to “test out” of the
Below is a summary of the course outline; each session
and/or series may vary slightly depending upon class
composition and BCTV staff.
9.1 Introduction to BCTV – Prereq: None
1 two-hour workshop
- Orientation to BCTV’s history, policies and
procedures, and role in community;
- Basic camera operations
If a person is not interested in producing his or her own
program but wants to actively volunteer, this one workshop
will be sufficient preparation and he or she may continue to
volunteer for production crews as a camera operator only. If
the volunteer wishes to learn additional skills, he or she
should sign up for additional workshops at a later time.
9.2 Production Van Volunteer Workshop – Prereq: Intro to
1 two-hour workshop
This workshop is for the person who wants to volunteer as
a crew member on BCTV and BAPA productions. It will cover
set-up and strike down of equipment as well as advanced
9.3 Community Access Production 101 –Pre-requisite:
Introduction to BCTV and crew on three productions.
2 two-hour workshops
This class is for the person who wants to work with BCTV
staff to have a program produced at the BCTV studio. It will
consist of two workshops. Upon completion, the potential
producer will be able to schedule the pre-production of his
or her own show. Topics addressed will be:
- Program Format
- Intro to Scriptwriting
- Importance of Sets/ Locations
- Underwriting Polices
At the discretion of staff this material may be covered
during the program development process.
10.0 Access Policies
It is the responsibility of every producer and volunteer to
know and understand all applicable policies and procedures.
BCTV reserves the right to change, modify or alter policies
and/or procedures at any time without notification.
For a full description of the roles and responsibilities
of staff, producers and volunteers, and for eligibility
requirements, please see Section 4.0 – 5.0 of this document.
BCTV resources may be used only for productions intended
for cablecast on BCTV, BAMA and BAPA.
If a producer derives income from any program produced
with BCTV equipment, vehicles, staff and/or facilities, he
or she must notify the BCTV General Manager and share 20% of
the gross income with Bloomfield Township.
BCTV and BACB assume no responsibility for the actions of
any producer or volunteer and shall be indemnified and held
harmless for any claims or damages resulting from a producer
or volunteer’s actions while working on a production.
Volunteer producers and crew may not represent themselves
as an employee of, representative of, or a paid producer for
the BACB or BCTV or any cable provider.
Producers must secure all releases for use of copyright
music in any production submitted for playback. BCTV
reserves the right to request an original signed release to
keep on file. Programs with copyright music without written
consent will not be broadcast on any channels under BCTV
11.0 Rules of Conduct for Producers and
1. The access user shall not engage in activities that
violate federal, state or local laws and ordinances.
2. The access user is expected to be courteous and
respectful to staff and other access users at all times.
3. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are allowed on
any community, municipal or library access premises.
4. Anyone suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or
illegal drugs will not be allowed on any community,
municipal, or library access premises.
5. No smoking is allowed while working on any community,
municipal or library access production.
6. No food or beverage is allowed in any studio, control
room, edit suite, production vehicle or other places
designated off-limits for these activities. An exception
will be made for food or beverage used as part of the
content of a program.
7. No producer, crew, talent or guest may use offices,
storage areas, closets, office equipment, phones or supplies
without permission from staff. Office equipment, phones and
supplies are for business use only.
Dub and Playback Policy
12.1 Dub Policy
Anyone who would like to have a dub (duplicate tape/DVD)
of a BCTV, BAMA or BAPA program must fill out and submit a
dub request form.
Dub prices and media formats are detailed on the dub request
form. Prices are based on format. Payment must be received
before the dub is made; staff may make exceptions for
regular producers. It may take up to five business days to
process most dub requests. There is an additional charge for
shipping and handling.
A producer may receive one dub of each of his (her)
programs at no fee and on VHS or DVD media format. As many
programs as possible will be copied onto one DVD or tape in
an effort to economize.
12.2 Playback Terms and Conditions
All persons submitting shows for playback on BCTV, BAPA
and BAMA must fill out a Request for Program Playback and
Statement of Compliance for each program. If the program is
a series that will be submitted on a regular basis, then
only one form needs to be submitted and renewed
(resubmitted) on a quarterly basis.
BCTV staff reserves the right to refuse any tape or DVD
that does not meet our standards of technical integrity,
including but not limited to:
1. a minimum of 30 seconds of
black video at the end of the program;
2. all tapes, DVDS and cases must be clearly labeled with
the program name, producer and total running time.
12.3 BCTV Disclaimer
The station will carry the following disclaimer:
“Views and opinions expressed in this program do not
necessarily reflect those of BCTV staff and the
municipalities BCTV represents. Therefore BCTV and the
municipalities BCTV represents do not assume any liability
for the programming content.”
12.4 Video Format
BCTV can only accept the following formats: DVCPRO, mini
DV and DVD. Only one program per tape or DVD is permitted.
12.5 Playback Producer/Endorser Responsibility
It is the presenter’s responsibility to deliver their
program to the studio and to pick it up when it is off the
playback schedule. All tapes/DVDs not retrieved 30 (thirty)
days after final scheduled playback may be discarded. It is
the Producer/Presenter’s responsibility to follow BCTV’s
program schedule to determine when to pick up the program.
If the program is part of a series, and airs on a regular
basis then it is the producer/presenter’s responsibility to
follow the schedule and coordinate program deliveries and
retrievals. Failure to provide regular programming in a
series may result in loss of a regular time slot.
13.0 Program Scheduling Policies
Scheduling is done at the discretion of BCTV staff. Shows
will play for a one-week period, and in some cases longer.
Staff will make every effort to air programs of a live
community event, or programs of a timely nature, the week
after the event takes place.
13.2 Playback Priority
BCTV accepts all programming for BAPA on a first-come,
first-serve, non-discriminatory basis. BCTV does not
pre-screen or censor programs submitted for playback.
However, BCTV does reserve the right to refuse any program
that does not meet standards of technical integrity.
Programs submitted for BCTV, BAPA and BAMA will by scheduled
for playback based on the following priority:
1. Programs produced in joint
copyright with BCTV have first priority on BCTV’s playback
2. Second priority are programs produced by governmental
entities, elected officials, or non profit organizations
serving Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, or the
communities represented by the BACB;.
3. Programs produced elsewhere but submitted by residents of
the above communities.
All programs submitted for playback must be accompanied
by a completed Public Access Playback Request Form that will
be reviewed quarterly to ensure fair and equitable playback;
and to update program and residency information. Reasonable
efforts will be made to provide a regular time slot, but
this cannot be guaranteed.
Scheduling is done by BCTV staff, following the wishes of
the communities served by the BACB. Each municipality is
given the same number (or as close as reasonably possible to
the same number) of time slots, in total, for its public
meetings. Each governmental unit will have its latest
meeting play in its time slot until its subsequent meeting
Every effort is made to assure that each program plays in a
morning, an afternoon, and an evening slot each week, but
this cannot be guaranteed. Programs of a live community
event, or programs of a timely nature, will usually, but not
always, depending on staff time commitments, play the week
after the event takes place.
The BAPA playback schedule is often, but does not have to
be, the same as the BCTV schedule. It follows the same
ranking of priorities, with the substitution of BACB area
residents respectively instead of Bloomfield Township and
Bloomfield Hills residents and governmental bodies.
13.5 Guaranteed Times
Each regular series produced at BCTV will be assigned two
guaranteed times, one daytime and one evening. These times
will be retained for that series as long as the producer
continues to produce new shows. If no new shows are produced
in a three-month period, these guaranteed times may be lost
and the series will, in most cases, no longer be aired until
four new shows are produced. At that time the series will
once again receive two guaranteed time slots, although they
will not necessarily be the same as the original guaranteed
times. BCTV staff reserves the right to periodically review
and re-assign guaranteed times.
13.6 Video on Demand
After a show airs on BCTV we will make every effort to
put the show on the website.
Community Bulletin Board
The following policies apply to BCTV, BAMA and BAPA
- All submissions for the Bulletin Boards may be
edited at the discretion of BCTV staff for space and for
- If the notice is intended to publicize a public or
nonprofit event, it must be submitted at least two weeks
before the event.
- Notices must not have any commercial content. They
cannot be used for personal or corporate benefit.
- Notices cannot publicize a fundraising raffle or
You may email, fax or mail a Bulletin Board Request –
contact numbers and addresses are listed below.
BLOOMFIELD COMMUNITY TELEVISION
4200 TELEGRAPH ROAD
PO BOX 489
Operations Manager: Steve Rota
Studio Coordinator: David Sommerfeld
Office Manager: Jo Marengere
Senior Production Specialist: Zack Florance
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Bloomfield Township, MI 48303-0489
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Bloomfield Township, Michigan
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