Frequently Asked Questions
What is PAC 14?
PAC 14, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization provide 'PEG' or Public, Educational, and Government Access Television services. We serve the Wicomico County and Salisbury Maryland area. Our programs are strictly non-commercial and non-profit. PAC 14 has served the community since Nov. 1998. What is Public Access TV?
Where is PAC 14 located?
PAC 14 is located in the East Campus Complex Building, rooms 126-136.
Who operates the Access channels?
To date there is only one combined Access Channel. The day-to-day operations are managed by a staff of three, including the Executive Director. See Board of Directors for additional information. PAC 14, Inc. has existed as a partnership between the City of Salisbury, Wicomico County & Salisbury University. The current hours of operation are from approximately 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday – Friday.
How is PAC 14 funded?
PAC 14 receives a portion of the franchise fees that you see listed on your Comcast cable bill. The city provides a fixed 1.5% of the 5% franchise fee. Wicomico Co. provides a variable rate from the general fund. PAC 14 also raises funds from the community.
To learn more about what a Franchise Fee is, see the links below.
'Franchise Fee' and 'P.E.G. Fee'. Read more on this...
What does PAC 14 televise?
We are – “Local Television”. We televise programming produced in the Wicomico County area 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We televise video programming as well as our text based bulletin board, Community Calendar. Public access programs vary greatly in length, quality and availability, so our program schedule changes from day to day and week to week. PAC 14 encourages the public to participate and to produce programs of interest to them. Public Access programming is produced by PAC staff as well as 'local producers' - citizens of Wicomico County.
Community Access Television, also know as Public, Educational, and Government Access (PEG) is for everyone. A portion of the programming you see on the access channel is actually produced by members of the community the channel serves - either private individuals, non-profit community-based organizations, or the even local government.
PAC 14 is an electronic forum for free expression used by the residents of the community. In PAC 14’s 14-year history it has very rarely received comments or letters of concern. Of any possible concerns, questions could arise from programming. In the case of a particular program a viewer might have concern with, they might comment, "There ought to be a law about what I saw on the station last night!" In fact there is a law: the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and its guarantee that "Congress shall pass no law abridging the freedom of speech..."
Basically, any resident of the community who completes the required workshop and is then qualified to use PAC 14 services may do so, provided that they can assure us that their program does nor contain any illegal content. We have agreed to maintain a public forum for the free expression of ideas - even ideas you or I might despise - as long as we prohibit any of the following types of content in programs:
If you see something on the access channel which does not fall into one of the above categories, but which upsets you anyway, you have the right to become a member and learn how to produce your own program or message on the channel, to counteract the programming that upset you. As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis said: "...avert the evil by the process of education... the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence." If you'd like to know how the FCC defines obscenity, and the very different type of content called "indecency," you may access their Consumer Fact Sheet at:
The producer of record, person or group, is fully and legally responsible for the content of their program - including but limited to - any violation of local, state or federal law, libel, slander, or copyright infringement.
So what makes PAC 14 so special?
Local - Local - Local. A public "green space" where 'local' people can share thoughts, ideas, interests & information within our community - WITHOUT - the influence of commercials or ratings. Our mandate is to train residents of Salisbury & Wicomico County to produce "local" programs. We provide free training and access to the available PAC 14 video equipment on a first-come, first-served basis. While we strive for quality, we focus on content. PAC 14 staff produces some of the programs you see and local folks like “you” produce the rest.
So there is no cost?
There is no cost to individual members at this time. We certainly are open to donations!
How do I receive PAC 14 ?
PAC 14, and PEG channels, are carried exclusively on cable TV. We also have live streaming, so it you have a good internet connection, you can watch PAC 14 anytime! If you reside in Wicomico County and receive cable services, but not PAC 14, we urge you to contact the cable operator and request that PAC 14 be added to your service line-up. This matter is solely in the hands of the cable operator. You can also find PAC 14 programming on our Video on Demand Channel. Find the playlist and click on your favorite show at a time convenient to you! We also have a YouTube Channel, where you can find many of our regular programs as well as government meetings.
While PEG operations have no control over what portions of a municipal service area may or may not receive their channels, all (including PAC 14) gladly welcome the widest viewership possible. So it's important to note that cable offers very low life-line type service rates, perhaps under $20-$30 dollars, that would allow you to receive basic cable services including Community Access Channels.
How many people watch PAC 14 - what about your ratings?
PAC 14, and all PEG channels, are non-commercial. Ratings are specific to commercial television so they can measure viewership and then calculate the cost of advertising.
PAC 14 often answers the question by suggesting our 'grocery store' ratings are very high. That is, when local people appear on PAC 14 they have a great many people say, 'saw you on TV'! While 'grocery store ratings' may seem a humorous approach to the answer it speaks well to the question as those who use PAC 14 services do so because they know this to be fact. Don't take our word for it, read our long list of testimonials!
Our viewership is very extensive in this community. In fact, within our 2000 'Needs Assessment', the data indicated an over 80% awareness rate of the Access Channel. It's certainly grown since then. As far as the number of subscribers and households who can watch PAC 14, the rough estimate is approximately 28,000 subscribers. With the County's population at approximately 100,000, and a rough average of 2-3 people per household, a 'large' percentage of citizens/households in Wicomico County can view PAC 14.
So, it's a partnership?
Absolutely, 100 motivated individuals ready to use our "FREE" video equipment equal 100 "local" programs. With roughly 90,000 residents in Wicomico area and over 300 non-profit organizations, the potential is tremendous.
What would I use to produce a program?
You can use your own equipment if you like, but we suggest using PAC's cameras and editors. We supply a “user-friendly” kit that includes, digital camera, batteries, microphones, cables and tripod. The cameras are amazingly compact - all you really need to worry about is framing your shot and using the camera safely.
You expect me to shoot and edit?
Relax, PAC 14 offers a free workshop that provides a detailed overview of the equipment, as well as instruction on how to get started. Professional video production is an art and a science like anything else, but we're not talking "Discovery Channel" quality here. We're talking about interviews & basic information - delivered in the most visually interesting way you can manage. The cameras are light and easy to use - the editors no more difficult than using your personal computer. You "can" do it - we show you how!
OK I'll do it - what do I do first?