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Television Montana

tvmt

 

 

Uniting People & Government through the Power of Television

Television Montana (TVMT) is a public affairs television service established by the Montana legislature in 2001. This unique public-private partnership combined state government resources with private sector contributions and the television production services of Helena Civic Television.

Overview

The purpose of TVMT is to provide Montana citizens with unfiltered access to public policy deliberations through gavel-to-gavel coverage of the legislative process and the proceedings of the executive and judicial branches of government. From 2003 to 2016, HCTV was under contract to cover Legislative Sessions and Interim committees, and to work toward statewide delivery of TVMT programming on cable television, digital broadcast, and the Internet.

Evolution and a Lasting Legacy

HCTV covered each Legislative Session (and Special Session) since 2001.  Initially providing the programming only in the capital city area, by 2013 TVMT programming was reaching over 55 communities on cable and was also featured as an over-the-air Montana PBS offering in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Missoula, Helena, and Great Falls.  In 2015 Charter Communications allocated cable channel 191 to TVMT, and the programming is now accessible to over 90 percent of the state’s population on television.  In addition, Legislative Services Division personnel video-stream capitol proceedings on its website so that citizens with high-speed connections can tune in to TVMT on their computers at home, at work, or in the field. A phased conversion to High Definition production is in progress and should be completed within the next biennium.

TVMT was designed to be a public affairs network.  In addition to state government proceedings, HCTV also featured other programs of statewide interest, including presentations by scholars at the Montana Historical Society, our own documentary features, conversations with foreign visitors under the auspices of World Montana and imported seasonal coverage of the Alberta Legislative Assembly.

Following HCTV’s coverage of the 2017 Legislative Session, the Legislative Services Division (LSD) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for continuation of TVMT that contained terms and conditions that HCTV could not satisfy or comply with. The RFP included a contract that would have required HCTV to surrender all control over TVMT programming, something alien to our principles as a public access entity and to the integrity of transparency in government. Consequently, HCTV did not submit a proposal. Montana PBS was hired to provide ongoing coverage of legislative proceedings. HCTV will continue to produce public affairs programming, some of which will involve executive and judicial branch agencies, and this material will be offered to LSD/PBS for carriage on the TVMT network.

HCTV/TVMT Special Projects

We seek and obtain grants and contracts for special projects. For example, for the past 5 years a number of private funders, including the Greater Montana Foundation,  the BNSF Foundation, the League of Women Voters, the League of Cities and Towns, and the Fanwood Foundation have provided funding support for programs such as Global Positioning, Global Civics Roundtables, and Far East/Far West, an educational documentary about Montana’s Sister States of Taiwan and  Guangxi, China. HCTV has partnered with the Historical Society the Montana Heritage Tour, highlighting small rural museums, and we received support from the Jerry Metcalf Foundation for a profile of Metis leader Louis Riel.

You can help underwrite these projects by making a tax deductible contribution to Helena Civic Television or by clicking the DONATE button to use your credit card. THANK YOU for supporting HCTV and our continuing connections with TVMT!

 

Viewers’ comments welcome. Send an e-mail message to Stephen at [email protected]

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