Tucked away in the corner of Auburn’s Central Maine Community College’s Kirk Hall, Great Falls Television is Lewiston, Auburn and Lisbon’s public access station.
Established in November 1999, the two-man crew and equipment at GFTV are funded by franchise fees from TimeWarner Cable in Lewiston and Auburn, a small fee charged to the town of Lisbon for GFTV’s video-on-demand online service, and from the sale of used equipment and DVD’s.
Broadcasting on three TimeWarner Cable channels, the station offers local and educational programing to hundreds of viewers over the airways and online.
Station Manager Philip Larlee says Channel 7 offers NASA programming and local government coverage, such as school department and city council meetings, Channel 11 offers the Community Bulletin Board and community programing, and Channel 22 features the NASA Educational programs.
The channels broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Each of the three cities broadcast their council and town meetings, and have their own staff produce the video.
Both Lewiston and Auburn’s meetings are live, and sent to the station for immediate broadcast via fiber optics, whereas the Lisbon meetings are shipped to the station via disc for rebroadcast and for online streaming.
Other programs offered included locally produced shows like “Answers from Augusta,” “L/A Today,” “Chip and the Chamber,” “Talk with Troy” and “Maine Songwriters Presents.”
The locally produced content is filmed in the three-camera studio at the station and edited on site.
“We can only broadcast in SD (standard definition), but do broadcast in wide-screen to accommodate the newer televisions,” said Larlee. “Upgrading to HD would require a major overhaul of the studio.”
GFTV also offers other Maine-produced content and LINK TV, which offers documentaries about the Middle East and other parts of the world.
To see a schedule of the programming, visit www.greatfallstv.net.