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Comcast Making Philadelphia’s Public Access Programming More Widely Available

(Mayor Michael Nutter helps to introduce "Philly in Focus," putting public access television online and on demand.  Credit: John Ostapkovich)

(Mayor Michael Nutter helps to introduce “Philly in Focus,” putting public access television online and on demand. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia was late in adopting community access television, but it may catch up with (and even pass) many other places, thanks to an upgrade announced today.

“Welcome to Philly in Focus, where all things Philly come together,” says a promotional video hailing a joint initiative among the City of Philadelphia, Comcast Corporation, and the public to share  programming from Comcast’s channel 66 both on-demand and online.

Philadelphia is one of six cities in the “Project Open Voice” beta test, an outgrowth of Comcast’s purchase of NBC-Universal.

Current content runs the gamut, from a 26-minute video on underserved city neighborhoods to comedy and the arts.

clausing gretjen nutter lisa  ost Comcast Making Philadelphias Public Access Programming More Widely Available

(Gretjen Clausing, executive director of the PhillyCam cable access production studio, left, is joined by Lisa Nutter, wife of the mayor, at today's event. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

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“It’s going to bring us to new audiences,” says Gretjen Clausing, executive director of the PhillyCam cable access production studio, at 7th and Ranstead Streets in center city.  “There’s a ton of people that aren’t aware that public access television is even on the air and the studio is even open, so if through the web site of Phillyinfocus they can discover us and our programs, that’s great.”

The mayor, meanwhile, is pushing for cable access in HD.

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