Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Center for Community Access Television (CCATV) Records
The Center for Community Access Television (CCATV) was established in 1976 as an outgrowth of meetings initiated one year earlier by the town's Cable Advisory Committee, a group comprised of students from the University of Massachusetts and community members. In 1977, CCATV opened its studio in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts after the town and local cable company agreed to a joint approach to public access. CCATV volunteers operated facilities for equipment access, training, production, and cablecasting while the cable company provided basic equipment and a small stipend.
Guided by its mission to develop and promote cultural, literary, charitable, educational and public affairs programming, CCATV began teaching formal workshops on video production to interested community members. Limited special programming was shown on a shared channel before 1978 with continuous programming initiated on March 12, 1978 on Channel 3. Programs aired weekday evenings, with the Community Calendar and Job Board, funded by local businesses, broadcast at all other times.
In 1982 and 1985, negotiations with the cable company and refranchising resulted in the hiring of a professional director and paid staff as well as the acquisition of operating funds and additional equipment.
In 1989, CCATV was renamed Amherst Community Television (ACT).