As viewers cut the cord, HOMTV seeks new revenue streams

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As government access television, HOMTV since its inception has provided content to the community. Through the broadcasts of government meetings and coverage of community events the station has provided information to the public. However, HOMTV now needs help from the community as it launched its sponsorship program.

“We are launching, a soft launch if you will program sponsorship opportunities, so organizations, community members, businesses they can sponsor a HOMTV program to continue programming…” said Brandie Yates, HOMTV executive producer.

Haslett, Meridian and Okemos television or as its better known by, HOMTV launched the program due to a loss of cable funding. According to Wikipedia, government access channels receive some of the money from the franchise fees that the cable companies pay to local governments to provide cable to the area. With people starting to cut the cord, the station is losing that funding.

As another revenue source, the station is looking for organizations, community members and even businesses to sponsor a HOMTV program which could mean having a logo on a show or being recognized as sponsors on the air said Yates.

The news desk for HOMTV where they conduct their daily newscast. Its one of a few sets at the station. Photo by: Julian Mitchell

With sponsors, HOMTV can continue to provide their in depth news coverage to the Meridian Township area.

Yates said, when HOMTV started, its main goal was to televise township meetings, but through the years it has grown to do far more than just that.

“We go above and beyond what is required of our channel, we’ve been around since the early 80s and we televise those meetings, but we also provide community news, kind of like a government transparency for those who live in Meridian Township and beyond,” said Yates.

This year the station began a daily newscast to go along with their other programs including sports talk shows and even a senior show hosted by senior citizens.

With all of their programming, the station puts a focus on the community and this can be seen in one of their shows, “Inside Okemos Athletics” and their public access channel CAMTV.

Inside Okemos Athletics is a sports talk show that focuses on Okemos High School athletics and provides a platform for Okemos athletes and coaches. It was all started by Ira Childress, the Okemos high school athletic director who approached HOMTV himself with the idea.

“HOMTV, I had worked with them for several years on different projects and so I pitched this to Brandie and Deborah (Guthrie) and they thought about it and they were like ‘man this could be a good idea’, I thought it could be a win for Okemos to get our student athletes up here and get them out there, I think it could be a win for HOMTV, get them more exposure and get more people to know and watching and clicking on HOMTV,” said Childress.

Along with Inside Okemos Athletics and the other shows HOMTV offers, the station also has a public access channel called CAMTV.

“CAMTV is Capitol Area Media TV, it is a public access channel so the public can submit their programs to be aired for a yearly fee,” said Ben Makulski, HOMTV video programmer. “So I get people all over the Lansing capitol area who submit their programs for other people to watch them basically.”

CAMTV is open to anyone submitting a program as long as they meet the standard of no extreme profanity, extreme violence and no nudity.

With CAMTV and Inside Okemos Athletics, HOMTV has worked to provide quality content to the community. However, due to cable cutting they are in a fight to stay alive and remain important.

HOMTV producers make sure the live broadcast of Inside Okemos Athletics goes smoothly. Photo by: Julian Mitchell

“We’re always in a constant battle with keeping why it’s important to have these kind of stations so doing this story is actually really important to get the word out on that.” said Yates. “So we’re trying to stay relevant and try to get in additional funding, we’re going to start looking at grants possibly as well.”

Potential sponsors can contact Brandie Yates directly at yates@meridian.mi.us.