The Oldsmar City Council agreed on Tuesday to discontinue the city’s cable TV channels, due to rising costs and lack of viewership, effective March 1.
The City of Oldsmar will discontinue its cable TV channels, effective March 1, 2017, following a recent decision by the City Council.
The Oldsmar City Council agreed on Tuesday to discontinue the city’s cable TV channels, due to rising costs and lack of viewership.
The move will take effect on March 1, 2017.
According to the background information provided, the Oldsmar television channel is carried by three providers: Brighthouse (now Spectrum), Frontier and WOW!, formerly Knology.
The software that is used to produce the slide shows for the channels is very specific and hasn’t been updated in 10 years, and the technical support for the software expired six years ago.
Upgrading the software as well as the “archaic” hardware was estimated to cost $6,000.
Couple that with the results of a survey that was run on the channels last year requesting input from viewers, and the decision to pull the plug was not a very difficult one for officials.
“We ran a survey in October to figure out the need,” City Clerk Ann Nixon said when the agenda item came up during the City Council meeting on Tuesday. “And we got less than, well, 27 calls is what we got.”
Nixon said most of the responses had nothing to do with the actual survey questions.
“Some of them were calls by mistake, wanting to keep the Spanish music, wanting to keep the school board channel,” she said. “What we got was not very convincing.”
Nixon added it would be easier, and more cost effective, to burn the meetings onto a CD and mail them to anyone who made such a request.
The five council members were unanimous in approving the motion.
Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.
“It’s a waste of money,” City Council member Jerry Beverland said, noting the upkeep and maintenance of the channels and equipment was also very time consuming for city employees.
“It’s not like they’re going away,” Mayor Doug Bevis added. “They’ll be still on YouTube, which is probably the easier way for people to watch them at their leisure.”
Bevis also noted the channels moved to the higher cable tiers, so people who get only basic cable do not receive the city channels.
The decision will also affect the City of Safety Harbor, which entered a joint-use agreement with Oldsmar to air their City Commission meetings four years ago.
According to Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock, his counterpart in Safety Harbor was consulted on the decision to discontinue the cable channels and he “didn’t seem to have any concerns with discontinuing it.”
“I don’t think it will be an issue for them,” Haddock said.