Bright House Kicks PEG Channel to Digital

Come December, it will be good-bye analog, hello digital for public, educational and government programming in Tampa, Fla.

The Tampa division of Bright House Networks has notified producers in the seven counties it serves in the region that beginning Dec. 11, PEG programming will be moved up the dial. Kena Lewis, director of public affairs for the division, said the system is unifying the channel lineup throughout it service area.

Residents are highly mobile, and find the channel line-ups differ at their homes from the ones serving their children's school or at the home of a relative, Lewis said. She added there has not been a huge outcry for a single line-up, but its creation will make viewing easier where ever a resident may go.

As part of the shifts, PEG channels will be moved to a digital tier, meaning current basic cable viewers will have to get a digital box to continue watching PEG programming. Digital boxes rent for $6.95, but BHN will make box available to some viewers for $1.

Florida operators are now regulated by state agencies rather than local jurisdictions, under terms of a bill passed last spring. State regulation does not dictate where PEG channels must be located.