Michigan’s cable television companies are proud to have initiated and be the major funders of Michigan Government Television. MGTV provides cable customers with live and taped coverage of all branches of Michigan government, much as CSPAN provides on a national level. It provides a variety of programming, including public policy-related press conferences, interviews with elected or appointed officials and others who influence public policy, election coverage and coverage of the gubernatorial inaugural.
In 1993, after discussion by MCTA and research into the feasibility of creating a cable network to cover the workings of state government in the same manner that the national C-SPAN networks cover the federal government, cable companies and Gov. John Engler launched a state run television operation. An initial investment of $1.5 million provided state-of-the-art equipment, covering the state House and Senate, Michigan Supreme Court, press conferences and other activities.
The offices and master control operation were placed in the Romney Office Building in downtown Lansing.
In 1995, the cable industry offered to take MGTV over and reorganize it as a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation with a board of directors composed of cable industry executives. The network would be completely independent of state government, financed by the cable industry through cable subscription fees, and editorial control of programming would reside entirely in the hands of the corporation’s executive director. The governor’s office turned the project over to the cable industry in December 1995.
When it began to air oral arguments from Michigan’s Supreme Court in October of 1996, MGTV became the second television network in U.S. history to carry live coverage of a state’s highest court.
MGTV today provides 1.6 million Michigan homes, schools and businesses served by cable television with programming, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time (9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central).
MGTV has won two Cable Television Public Affairs Association Beacon Awards for its programming as well as two CNN/National Student Parent Mock Election Media Excellence Awards.
MCTA members are proud to help make MGTV possible.