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Brooklyn Access Channel Gets New Pact With TWC, Cablevision

The public-access TV programmer in Brooklyn, N.Y., has a new 10-year support agreement with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems with New York City franchise renewals in the offing.

Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz said in a release a renewed 10-year agreement in principle has been reached between BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, which owns and operates Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT), and the two cable providers.

The deal will ensure that the BCAT TV Network is available to Brooklyn customers on both cable systems and that the two providers will increase capital and operating funding for BRIC's community media programs, allowing for expanded programming, accessible media facilities and media education training for Brooklyn residents, it said.

Cablevision this week also did a new deal to support BronxNet, the public, education and government (PEG) programmer in the Bronx. A key N.Y.C. committee is scheduled to meet this week to approve new cable franchises in the boroughs, the Daily Newsreported earlier this week.

"BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn is pleased that the City of New York is moving forward with new franchise agreements with Cablevision and Time Warner," Leslie G. Schultz, executive director of BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, said in the release. "The renewal of grant agreements in Brooklyn will permit BRIC to expand the vital public access services that we provide to Brooklyn residents and to deepen our engagement with users throughout the borough. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was essential to our negotiations with the cable companies and we are grateful for his leadership in guiding these discussions and helping to bring them to a successful conclusion for the residents of Brooklyn."

Lisa Rosenblum, Cablevision's executive vice president of government and public affairs, added: "Cablevision is proud of our history of providing Brooklyn residents throughout our service area with access to the most advanced cable television, phone and high-speed Internet products, and of our more than 20-year record of support for Brooklyn public access programming. We are pleased to have reached an agreement that continues our support of Brooklyn's public access organization and are grateful for Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz's assistance in bringing the parties together to reach agreement."

And Markowitz said in the release: "I am thrilled that this agreement will not only continue to provide Brooklynites with the high quality public access programming for which BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn has become known, but additional funding that will result in even more programming and services. Bravo to BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn, Time Warner and Cablevision for supporting the important role public access programming plays in our communities, and I particularly thank my chief of staff, Carlo Scissura, for his hard work in helping to make this agreement a reality."