Hard-to-Get TV

Does anyone watch public-access television anymore? Well, Cox has made it much more difficult to do just that. On its website, it lists channels that are included with the “Standard TV” package. All of the local public access channels are listed – and next to them is an asterisk. I read the fine print at the bottom of the page, and was informed that receiving public TV with your cable package “Requires a digital receiver or CableCARD rental. TV sets with a built-in (Clear QAM) digital tuner will receive local broadcast channels without equipment rental.”

Recently, a colleague called to try and get this mysterious receiver so he could watch the City of Santa Barbara Government Access Channel 18, only to find out that there was an extra fee for a Cox employee to come to his house and install the box.

Why is community-access TV, produced with our tax dollars and broadcast on the public airwaves, not available to the public in Santa Barbara?

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.