.
Getting Airtime in Your Community
.
 
   
There are several ways to get programs on the air in your area. Purchasing airtime can be costly but it assures that the program will play every week at the same time. Getting public service (free) time on most stations is rare, but not impossible. Since they don’t allow commercials, Christian stations almost always charge for their airtime.

There are four basic types of stations in most communities:

Network Stations (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX)
These stations usually charge a weekly fee to air programming. The advantage to a network station is the larger viewership. Network stations usually sell time through agencies and not directly to customers. AMS is the official church agency, owned by the North American Division, qualified to work with you and your local station to purchase time at discount prices.

Independent Stations (Local stations with no network affiliation)
These stations usually charge but will sometimes run a program free, depending on the station management, size of the community and available airtime. To find out, get to know the station manager or program director and find out about their policies on religious programming, or your can ask the AMS Agency to investigate the possibilities for you.

Cable Stations (No local programming but some local commercial spots)
These stations are programmed by the various cable networks but sell some of the commercial spots to local customers through the local cable office. You can purchase 30 and 60-second spots on cable to advertise local meetings or church events through the agency at a discounted price.

Cable Public Access (A station owned and operated by your local cable company)
Every cable system is required to provide local the community with a local station that produces and airs local programming.

Each access station has different rules for operation. Some allow nationally-produced programming if a local citizen requests it be aired. Some allow only locally-produced programs. Some channels allow us to ship the program tapes directly to them. Others require a local citizen to receive the tapes and deliver them in person to the station each week.

To find out what your local channel allows, call your local cable company and ask them who to talk to about programming on the local public access station. If you need help contacting your local access station, we will be happy to help you.


How to Contact Your Local Public Access Station

  1. Call your local cable company and ask them how to place programming on your local cable access channel. They will refer you to the proper office. If you do not know who your local cable provider is or if you have trouble contacting them, we will be happy to research this information for you.
  2. Tell the station representative you are a supporter of this program and you would like to see it air in your community. Ask them if they allow nationally produced programming on the channel.
  3. Tell them you have a VHS promo tape and a sample program on VHS and offer to deliver a promo tape and/or a sample program tape to the station. This will give you an opportunity to meet them in person and develop a relationship. Make your first visit brief.
  4. Follow up the visit with a phone call about a week after leaving the tape. Ask them if they have had time to view the program. If not, ask when it would be convenient to call again. If they have watched it and do not want to air the program, thank them for their consideration of the program. If they want to air the program, ask for the following information:

    • When do they wish to begin airing the program?
    • What day and time will they air the program?
    • What tape format do they use? (Beta, DVCam, DVD, VHS, etc.)
    • Can the tapes be shipped directly to the station or will you have to deliver them to the station every week?
    • If shipped to the station, what is the shipping address, contact person and phone number?
    • If shipped to you, we need your shipping address and phone number.