Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, asked IPTV head Peter Morrill, “Could you just do regular commercial advertisements like any other television station?” Morrill noted that IPTV raises more private money than many of its peer networks. But, he said, “Idaho Public Television is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to be a noncommercial, educational entity. We are precluded by federal law to air commercials.” IPTV is also precluded by federal law from getting paid to offer its signal to cable and satellite providers, and must offer it for free; and is precluded from selling its airtime. In addition, the state owns its assets, “so our ability to get into the commercial television business, what we would call competing with private industry, there probably are significant limitations there because of those issues.”
Morrill said he’s not identified “any Statue of Liberty play from Roger Madsen and the Department of Labor to potentially assist us with this challenge and potentially replacing that kind of money.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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