SPEAK MPLS is your destination for creative minds and local content.
We are a member-based community media center that provides access to media labs, studios, equipment, classes to help you create content, and free airtime for members on SPEAK MPLS TV- the new home of Minneapolis public access TV channels 16, 17, and 75 on Comcast. Be the voice of Minneapolis and get your boogie on.
ABOUT SPEAK MPLS TV
- ▼What is SPEAK MPLS TV?
SPEAK MPLS TV is the new home of Minneapolis public access TV channels 16, 17 and 75 on Comcast. We are committed to providing free channel time to members where content is not pre-screened, commercial-free and creators retain ownership of their content.
- ◄So airing my content is really free?!
That’s right! Channel time on SPEAK MPLS TV is available free of charge to all members on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to members who reside in Minneapolis.
- ◄Who owns the content that airs?
We support you to own your storytelling power and direct how your narratives are shared. All intellectual property and copyrights of content submitted belong exclusively to the member (or the creator of the content).
Members shall grant SPEAK MPLS an unlimited, royalty free non-exclusive and perpetual license to broadcast and distribute content member submits to SPEAK MPLS for airing on the public access channels and any other electronic or digital broadcast platform.
SPEAK MPLS has the right to use any programming and excerpts a member submits to SPEAK MPLS for promotional and educational purposes.
- ◄Do you screen content before it airs?
- SPEAK MPLS does not pre-screen content and cannot assume responsibility for the content aired on SPEAK MPLS TV. Additionally, as SPEAK MPLS does not pre-screen content, broadcast of a member’s program does not mean that SPEAK MPLS agrees with or approves the message contained in any programming aired on the public access channels. Member is responsible for assuring that the program content does not violate federal, state or local law, as defined in SPEAK MPLS TV Policies, below.
- ◄Do you air commercials on SPEAK MPLS TV?
- SPEAK MPLS TV is commercial-free, and commercial content is strictly prohibited on SPEAK MPLS TV. All content must be non-commercial by nature. Commercial content is defined as, but not limited to: content that advertises, solicits business, or promotes bartering, commercial products, businesses, services, or transactions.
The direct solicitation or appeal for funds, items, or services of value for any or all purposes is not allowed, with the exception of non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, if it has filed a letter with SPEAK MPLS verifying its non-profit status.
Programming including information about the lottery, gambling, a gift enterprise, or similar schemes is strictly prohibited.
Members may not include commercial telephone numbers, nor information about the purchase of a product or a good in the programming aired on SPEAK MPLS TV.
Any content submitted by a member that includes the prohibited information above will not be aired on SPEAK MPLS TV.
- ◄What format types does SPEAK MPLS TV air?
- Any SPEAK MPLS member can submit to air content in the following formats:
Members may submit content with no set or predetermined length or runtime to air on SPEAK MPLS channels. We do welcome 28 or 58-minute formats! Content with an open format is scheduled for a single showing, rather than on a recurring basis. Content with an open format receives one guaranteed showing. Additional showings are subject to available channel time and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. A separate Video Content Submission Form must be submitted for each open format submission.
A series is a program that contains a pre-determined number of episodes aired under a single title and scheduled at a recurring time slot, with a consistent runtime. It is not necessary for a series to have a 28 or 58-minute format. However, if the runtime is shorter than 28 minutes, we cannot guarantee a recurring time slot and it will be determined on a case-by-case basis. A series must be renewed annually, or in advance of completion of the series (whichever comes first) if the same recurring air date/time slot is preferred. When a member submits a series, the member must select whether the series airs weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly:WEEKLY SERIES- A weekly series consists of airing one program per week.
BI-WEEKLY SERIES- A bi-weekly series consists of airing one program, every other week.
MONTHLY SERIES- A monthly series consists of one program every month.
CONTENT SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
- ▼What file formats do you accept?
SPEAK MPLS only accepts digital file submissions. We do not accept file links (from YouTube, Google Drive or Dropbox, for example), videotape submissions, DVDs, drives or other digital storage devices.
The automated SPEAK MPLS TV system will accept digital files in the following formats: .MOV, MPEG-4, H.264, ProRes 422 normal or LT. If you have other formats, and would like to know if we accept them, please contact SPEAK MPLS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ◄How do I need to prepare my file for submission?
FILE NAME- Please name your file with the submitting member's 4 digit Member Number (or Driver's License/State ID Number), the title of your content (not to exceed 15 characters), and submission date (year/month/day)- example: MEMBERNUMBER TITLE XXXX XX XX
AUDIO- Stereo audio is required.
CREDITS- Please include an opening title and closing credits.
EXPORT RECOMMENDATIONS- If you need assistance with the best export settings in your video editing program, please contact SPEAK MPLS at email@example.com for recommendations.
- ◄What program runtimes do you accept?
- SPEAK MPLS accepts submissions of any length.
- ◄What if I don’t meet the technical requirements above?
Members will be notified if the file submitted is rejected for any reason or any technical requirements are not met. SPEAK MPLS will work with you to resolve the issue.
SPEAK MPLS will determine, in its sole discretion, whether a particular file satisfies SPEAK MPLS’ technical requirements for playback and cablecasting. Not adhering to the technical requirements could result in the member's program being removed from broadcast on SPEAK MPLS TV.
SPEAK MPLS TV POLICIES
- ▼Can I submit any kind of content? What laws do I have to follow?
- Member agrees that all programming member submits will adhere to all federal, state and local broadcasting laws. Accordingly, member content must adhere to the following:
1) Content cannot contain material that is slanderous, libelous, constitutes an invasion of privacy, or was made unlawfully.
2) Content cannot contain unlawful use of material that is subject to: federal copyright laws, ownership of another, or royalties, rights of publicity, or state privacy laws. Members assume the responsibility of obtaining permission to use any and all content in their productions that may be protected by copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, state privacy laws, or other applicable laws without written consent.
3) Programming which contains material that is intended to defraud the viewer.
4) Obscene material is not allowed. The First Amendment does not protect obscene speech. Federal law states that material is obscene if: a) The material appeal’s to an average person’s prurient interest, applying contemporary community standards; and b) The work depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and c) Taken as a whole, the work lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. For a list of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent enforcement actions in this area, please visit the FCCs Enforcement Bureau Web Site.
- ◄Do I need clearances and permission to include a copywritten song, for example?
- The member must make all appropriate arrangements with, and obtain all necessary clearances and permissions required from any and all broadcast stations, networks, sponsors, music licensing organizations, writers, performer representatives, or any other individual or entity prior to submitting member’s content for broadcast over the cable television system and/or on any SPEAK MPLS digital platform with broadcast or streaming capabilities.
Member acknowledges and agrees that it is the member’s sole responsibility to pay for and obtain any and all necessary music licenses, clearances for any public performance, royalty payments that may be required due to the transmission of any kind of third party content contained in member’s consent, prior to submitting for broadcast on SPEAK MPLS TV. SPEAK MPLS will not be liable to anyone for a member's failure to obtain the appropriate intellectual property clearances or permissions from any person or entity.
Upon request by SPEAK MPLS, the member has 24 hours to provide SPEAK MPLS satisfactory evidence that the member has obtained the necessary clearances and permissions for member’s content. If a member fails to provide proof that the member has permission to use any third party intellectual property, the content will not be aired.
- ◄Can I sell channel time on SPEAK MPLS TV?
- SPEAK MPLS members may not sell air time to anyone, including in exchange for allowing an individual or entity to appear on SPEAK MPLS TV. All air time on SPEAK MPLS channels is always free.
Additionally, no member can require an individual or organization to compensate the member for including the individual or organization’s likeness or messaging to appear on SPEAK MPLS TV.
No member may sell SPEAK MPLS TV channel time to another program provider or third party. If a member violates this policy, it is considered a major violation, and may result in cancellation of channel time, suspension of member privileges, or revocation of SPEAK MPLS membership.
- ◄Do you air disclaimers on SPEAK MPLS TV?
- SPEAK MPLS will air all necessary disclaimers that are required throughout the day, including a general disclaimer, 17+ disclaimer (if applicable) and any other disclaimer SPEAK MPLS deems appropriate.
- ◄What does your general disclaimer say?
- “This program is being disseminated by SPEAK MPLS on one or more of the Minneapolis public access cable channels. Any views, opinions, statements, or content expressed in the program or expressed by individuals or entities appearing on the program are not endorsed nor recommended by SPEAK MPLS, the City of Minneapolis, or the Cable Operator.”
- ◄Do you have a rating system to help viewers make informed decisions about watching a certain program?
- Minneapolis is a diverse community, and not all individuals react to certain conduct the same way. SPEAK MPLS understands that viewers may have differing degrees of sensitivity concerning programming.
SPEAK MPLS wants to assist our viewers in making informed decisions while providing an opportunity for all forms of expression and in accordance with existing laws. As a result, SPEAK MPLS utilizes a rating system similar to the Motion Picture Association rating system. SPEAK MPLS’ ratings consist of two tiers: 0-16 and 17+.
- ◄What is a 17+ rating, and when is that content scheduled?
- 17+ programming can be broadly categorized as adult in nature, violent, or medically graphic content. Content containing excessive vulgar language, nudity, extreme physical violence, prolonged and realistic violence, degradation, graphic depiction of invasive medical procedures, or indecent material will be scheduled between the hours of Midnight to 5AM and will be preceded by a message advising viewer discretion.
Indecent material describes or depicts sexual or excretory activities or sexual organs in a way that under contemporary community standards would be patently offensive to many.
Members are required to identify whether submitted programming MAY fit this category, because we do not pre-screen content. Members MUST notify SPEAK MPLS upon submission of content if it contains material requiring a 17+ disclaimer or advisory message.
- ◄What does your 17+ disclaimer say?
- “The following program contains adult themes, and may include adult language, portrayals of violence, and sexual content. It is intended to be viewed by adults, and may be unsuitable for children under 17. Viewer discretion is advised.”
- ◄If I submit content to the public access TV channels, what information is a matter of public record?
- Channel Usage Information is a matter of public record pursuant to the City of Minneapolis Open Data Policy and the Minnesota Government Data Practices (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13).
CONTENT POLICY VIOLATIONS
- ▼What are examples of content policy violations? What happens if I violate a content policy?
Members are required to follow all policies and procedures for SPEAK MPLS. Policy violations include, but are not limited to: 1) Inclusion of any material subject to copyright laws without the owner’s permission; 2) Inclusion of any individual’s likeness or name without that individual’s consent; 3) Inclusion of any brand or logo or other device protected by trademark laws without the owner’s consent; 4) Content that is obscene within the definition by the FCC; 5) Content that is libelous or slanderous; and 6) Failure to comply with applicable federal, state or local law.
If a member’s programming violates any of the SPEAK MPLS content policies, SPEAK MPLS may take any or all of the following actions: 1) Immediately cease broadcast of the offending content; 2) Communicate with the member to ensure the member understands the programming violation, and identify strategies to deter future violations; 3) Require the member complete additional certification or attend additional classes concerning SPEAK MPLS content policies; 4) Suspend member’s membership privileges; 5) Suspend member’s membership; 6) Revoke member’s membership; 7) Require member to pay the amount of any fines SPEAK MPLS incurs in connection with the broadcast of programs that violate this content policy; or 8) Cancellation of the content.
SPEAK MPLS reserves the right to take any action with regard to program scheduling and transmission to comply with applicable law and to ensure compliance with these policies.
- ◄What should I do if I see a content violation?
Please report all suspected content violations to SPEAK MPLS. Anonymous reports can be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When content violations are brought to SPEAK MPLS’ attention, SPEAK MPLS will take all necessary steps to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations.
SPEAK MPLS will handle all violations on a case-by-case basis, and according to policy violation procedures.
SUBMIT YOUR CONTENT
- ▼When can I submit content?
- Content submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. We do not adhere to, for example, a seasonal schedule, and support members in the creation of their own programming timelines.
- ◄How do I submit my content?
Content can be submitted on our members only Video Content Submission Page here: http://bit.ly/SPEAKMPLS_submission. To access the page, use the password emailed to you in your welcome email from SPEAK MPLS.
For each submission, you must submit a single digital file. Only one file will be accepted per Video Content Submission Form.
- ◄How much content can I submit?
- We welcome as much content as you would like to submit! If necessary, SPEAK MPLS reserves the right to limit the amount of content a member can submit, and will exercise scheduling discretion to ensure access for new channel users and new content. In rare cases, this may involve the pre-emption of previously scheduled programs. While SPEAK MPLS reserves the right to change programming schedules, we are committed to air programs during assigned time slots.
- ◄What if I don’t have the bandwidth to upload my large file from home?
- Members may upload content at a SPEAK MPLS edit suite at one of our media lab locations during regular business hours. Appointments to utilize the edit suites are required, and can be made via the member portal, or by phone or email. Members are responsible for supplying a USB or external hard drive for this transfer.
- ◄What if I need further assistance with the content submission process?
- SPEAK MPLS team members are available to assist you during business hours. We have three options for you: 1) Log-in to the SPEAK MPLS member portal and book a virtual or in-person media consultation with a team member 2) Email email@example.com for assistance or 3) Call 612-208-7215 to connect with a SPEAK MPLS team member during business hours.
SCHEDULING AIR DATE/TIME SLOT
- ▼How will I know what time slot I have been assigned?
- Members will be notified by email within 10 business days after SPEAK MPLS’ receipt of the member's Video Content Submission Form of the assigned channel placement time slot(s) allocated for the member's content.
- ◄What if I need to reschedule my time slot?
- Schedule changes can be requested at any time, and SPEAK MPLS will make a reasonable attempt to accommodate the requested change.
- ◄What if I need to cancel?
A member may cancel the airing of their content by sending written notice to SPEAK MPLS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. No cancellation is effective until SPEAK MPLS receives a written request for cancellation. Any notice of cancellation must include the name of the member and ID number, the name of the content submitted, the member’s remaining obligations, if any, with regard to a series, the last time the program aired, the next scheduled air date, and the date of requested cancellation.
Once received, SPEAK MPLS will send the member written confirmation that the program is canceled, which includes notification of the official cancellation date. Until the member receives notice of confirmation cancellation, the member’s status and responsibilities will remain in effect.
GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC GROUPS
- ▼What are the guidelines for minors?
- In the event that minors that are members or participants of SPEAK MPLS and want to submit programming, a parent or guardian must sign all required forms and accept all terms, and the parent or guardian will be legally responsible for the content submitted.
- ◄What are the guidelines for organizations?
- If a member is an organization, the submitted programming must pertain to the organization's mission or purpose. The assigned time slot belongs to the member organization, not to the individual listed as the program applicant.
- ◄What are the guidelines for political candidates or entities?
- Vibrant political speech and civic participation are among SPEAK MPLS’ core values. We are proud to be a content neutral political forum. For that reason, we adhere to the following policies: 1) A political candidate may produce or submit content for airing on SPEAK MPLS TV in accordance with all the same policies that apply to any member; 2) SPEAK MPLS does not endorse political candidates or political points of view; 3) Program guests may express partisan views and opinions, but cannot use SPEAK MPLS TV or platform for fundraising; 4) A political candidate appearing in a program is a guest of that program. The appearance does not represent an endorsement by SPEAK MPLS; 5) SPEAK MPLS is not an equal-time provider. We are not obligated to schedule political candidates in equivalent time slots opposite any political candidate or official; and 6) The start and end of any content that includes a declared political candidate must show a slate containing the following text:
- “SPEAK MPLS and the City of Minneapolis do not endorse the views, opinions, or claims contained in the following programming.”
- ◄What are the guidelines for sponsors?
Content may acknowledge or credit sponsors, such as individuals, businesses, or other organizations that have contributed goods, services, or funding used in the production of content or program. If sponsors will be credited in a member’s programming, member must ensure the following policies are followed:
Credit may be aural, visual or both
Credits may not contain any advertising information or calls to action. The following examples are NOT allowed, and are for illustrative purposes only: 1) Calls to action such as "buy, "try", "call now", "visit today", or "buy at." 2) Comparative statements, qualitative adjectives, or subjective evaluations such as "The best hamburgers in Minneapolis” 3) Video of a service provided for a cost by the organization, 4) Promotional information, such as any statement regarding price, product, or service descriptions, 5) Sponsors may only be acknowledged at the beginning and end of the program, or 6) Member must provide SPEAK MPLS written proof that the sponsor has authorized use of the sponsor's logo, brand, trademark, trade dress, or service mark.
ON-SCREEN SPONSOR MESSAGES
On-screen contact information, such as website, may be displayed depending on the length of the program, and not exceed the limits as follows: 1) Content less than 28 minutes long- no more than 5 seconds, twice during the program; 2) Content between 28-58 minutes long- no more than 10 seconds, twice during the program; or 3) Content longer than 58 minutes- no more than 10 seconds, four times during the program.
The following are on-screen sponsor messages and visual examples that are allowed, and are for illustrative purposes only: 1) "For more information contact (sponsor name, organization, contact information)." 2) Video titles that include the name, and website of the sponsoring company or organization; 3) Video of the front of the main office or store location; or 4) Video of the sponsor or employees.
Any exceptions to the sponsor message policy must be approved by SPEAK MPLS. If you have questions about sponsor messages, please contact SPEAK MPLS at email@example.com.
- ◄What are the credit guidelines for guests?
Information needed to identify a guest, such as name, title and organization in lower-third IDs, for instance, may run as often as necessary.
On-air guest contact information is limited based on the time duration of the program: 1) Content less than 28 minutes long- no more than 5 seconds, twice during the program; 2) Content between 28-58 minutes long- no more than 10 seconds, twice during the program; or 3) Content longer than 58 minutes- no more than 10 seconds, four times during the program.
This does not restrict member’s ability to display standard identification of on air guests. 501(c)(3) organizations offering free services to the public may share contact information as needed.
Any exceptions to the guest credit policy must be approved by SPEAK MPLS. If you have questions about sponsor messages, please contact SPEAK MPLS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SPEAK MPLS
- ▼Does being a member of SPEAK MPLS make me an employee?
- Members are not employees of SPEAK MPLS and may not identify themselves as such. Falsely identifying as a SPEAK MPLS employee is strictly prohibited and can result in disciplinary action such as suspension of member privileges or revocation of membership.
- ◄Does SPEAK MPLS provide press credentials?
SPEAK MPLS does not provide press credentials. Members are responsible for soliciting press credentials under their own names, and/or production companies. SPEAK MPLS is more than happy to help members obtain press credentials, and can schedule a Media Consultation to arrange assistance.
A member may identify SPEAK MPLS as a member's content platform. For example:
My name is ________ and I produce [Name of Program] that airs on SPEAK MPLS, Comcast channel [enter in channel number].
- ◄Can I use the SPEAK MPLS brand in my content?
Members may not use the SPEAK MPLS logo, except in connection with advertising programming that will be aired on SPEAK MPLS TV, such as in flyers, online advertisements and on the program itself. In no event may a member use the SPEAK MPLS logo on business cards, clothing, or promotional items created by members. If a member chooses, a member may include the following text on promotional material: "As seen on SPEAK MPLS TV” with the approved logo.
For further questions on use of the SPEAK MPLS brand by members, please contact SPEAK MPLS at email@example.com.
- ◄Do I need to credit SPEAK MPLS if I use the media labs, studios or equipment?
Content produced at the SPEAK MPLS media labs, studios or equipment must show the following slate at the end of the program for at least 10 seconds.
"Produced in collaboration with SPEAK MPLS."