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Welcome to HCTV: Here’s our Story

Helena Civic Television is the culmination of many years’ effort by a dedicated group of local citizens. In 1999, following grassroots organizing efforts, The Helena Television Coalition, Inc., worked with local government officials to negotiate a franchise agreement with the local cable TV provider. Franchise fees collected from cable customers provide the financial basis for HCTV. This is how community-based “public, educational, and governmental” (PEG) television stations are funded across the country.

In 2001, the Coalition, doing business as HCTV, was awarded a multi-year renewable contract with the City of Helena to produce and air City Commission meetings and to cover other educational, cultural, and governmental activities of public interest. In 2004, HCTV signed a multi-year contract with Lewis & Clark County to cover County Commission meetings and other events and activities county-wide.

HCTV moved beyond the bounds of local PEG stations, and positioned itself to provide public affairs programming from the capital city to a statewide audience. See the Television Montana page for more details.

HCTV is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is designed to reflect the interests and values of the local community. The “civic” in Helena Civic Television underscores the Board’s belief in the rights and duties of citizens in a participatory democracy.

Most of what you will see on Cable Channel 189 are programs by and for the people in the Helena area.

In the months and years ahead, we will feature local productions and imported programs of statewide interest as well.

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