KNOXVILLE — Through a partnership with Comcast Cable, the University of Tennessee has launched its own television station that is now available to all digital subscribers in the greater Knoxville area.
The new station will feature a wide variety of university news and cultural and academic programming produced by UT Knoxville’s Video and Photography Center, a department of the university’s Office of Public Relations.
The station is on Comcast’s digital network –- channel 194. Along with Comcast’s digital subscribers, another 7,000 UT resident students also have access to the channel on campus (channel 65).
Comcast serves more than 160,000 customers in Knox, Roane, Anderson, Sevier, Blount, Union, Cocke and Campbell counties.
“We’re grateful to Comcast for the opportunity to share the many wonderful programs and events on our campus with the region,” said Chancellor Loren Crabtree. “Along with providing a wonderful window for others to learn about the university’s teaching and research, the partnership provides an opportunity to grow student programming and provide experiences through the new channel.”
UT is Comcast’s largest customer, and the company provides the channel as a way to “show a side of campus that many people may not always see through academic programming, lecture series and cultural offerings,” said Russell Byrd, Comcast’s director of government and public affairs.
“What we’ve developed is truly unique for our company and something we’re very proud to partner on with the university,” Byrd said. “We think exposing our viewers to this new programming and a view of the campus and student life benefits our viewers as well as the university.”
UT’s Video and Photography department will partner with the College of Communication and Information’s Journalism and Electronic Media Department to share original student programming and involve students in the process of new show development.
“We are offering an invaluable experience for students to participate in creating a new production,” said Tom Owens, director of UT’s Video and Photography department. “From developing an idea to a concept and creating a theme, students have an opportunity to work through the creative process and then also play a key role in its production.”
Several new programs were developed for UTTV, including:
• “Campus Conversations with Loren Crabtree,” a 30-minute talk show featuring discussions about issues, faculty research and other UT initiatives. The next few months will feature noted UT forensic anthropologist Bill Bass and his co-author, Jon Jefferson; a look at UT enrollment services and scholarship programs; and ongoing research projects in China.
• “UT Cribs,” an insightful look at student dorms on campus, produced by the students of The Volunteer Channel (TVC), a student organization.
• “UT Today,” a weekly 30-minute broadcast produced by upper level broadcasting and electronic media students.
• “This Week @Tennessee,” a short show about campus happenings and highlights about featured events.
• “Ready for the World,” hosted by students, this broadcast focuses on intercultural and multicultural events that help build and support diversity awareness.
• “Dialogue,” a television version of WUOT’s popular interview segment hosted by the award-winning Matt Shafer Powell.
• “UT Connections,” a program featuring stories about the impact of agriculture and agricultural research on Tennessee and the nation.
• “Hot Topix,” “Sports Mecca” and “Rock Solid Sports,” other programs hosted by students in cooperation with the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, TVC and WUTK, UT’s student radio station.
In addition to its partnership with the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, the Video and Photography Department also is working with other departments and community groups to add original programming and entertainment. Viewers also will benefit from free-to-air satellite networks that provide rich programming from the Research Channel; Classic Arts Showcase; Open Student Television Network, which features student programming from across the nation; and Mosaic, which broadcasts world news from around the globe.
“Along with the first-rate university programming, viewers will truly enjoy the other interesting programs that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences,” Byrd said. “We are pleased to work with the university to provide the platform for this new exposure. It’s truly a unique partnership for Comcast and one that we hope will continue to benefit our viewers and the university for a long time.”
Byrd noted that the university channel will be among popular cable networks such as NFL Network, CMT Pure Country, Biography Channel and Fine Living.
About Comcast Corp.
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 24.2 million cable customers, 11.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 2.5 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast’s content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, four regional Comcast SportsNets and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast’s Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Russell Byrd, (865) 862-5001