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N.Y. Assembly Makes TV Debut

Coverage of the New York Assembly is available on cable and public television
for the first time Monday.

The programming is only a test so far, and the experiment will include more
gavel-to-gavel coverage June 6, 10 and 18.

The Assembly is already available via streaming video on the Internet, but
legislators noted that more than 9 million citizens are on the 'other side' of
the digital divide and need televised coverage of their elected
representatives.

The broadcasts, which will cost the Assembly an estimated $85,000, 'will be
carried to varying degrees' by cable operators according to channel
availability, said Richard Alteri, president of the Cable Television and
Telecommunications Association of New York.

Assemblymen have asked the operators to provide coverage from 2 p.m. to
midnight. Participating operators will include those in every major market in
the state, Alteri said.

Previously, the operators offered each house and the governor's office one
hour each on Sundays to discuss state issues.

Media officials, including representatives of public TV stations, continue to
discuss long-term plans for coverage of both the state House and
Assembly.