(HELENA) -- The Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN) premieres November 1, 2018. The channel formerly known as TVMT (Television Montana) becomes MPAN to reflect the channel’s evolving focus toward expanding services to the citizens of Montana beyond the live, unedited, nonpartisan, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Legislative Branch. Viewers will notice a new look and logo for the channel that continues to provide the coverage citizens have come to rely on while expanding civic educational programming offerings into the future.
“My hope is that the name Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN) better describes how the channel serves the people of Montana, with in-depth coverage of their state government in action,” says Aaron Pruitt, Interim Director and General Manager of Montana PBS. “Our goal is to bring a fresh graphical look to the channel that appeals to today’s television audiences, as well as incorporating images of Montana that remind viewers of the beautiful state we all share.”
MPAN is a statewide Montana cable broadcast channel, produced in partnership with Montana PBS and the Montana Legislative Services Division. Montana PBS, the contracted operator of MPAN as of July 2017, produces and broadcasts all of MPAN’s content.
“TVMT (now MPAN) was born out of a desire to provide the public with access to their government and it performed that function admirably,” says Susan Fox, Executive Director of Montana Legislative Services Division (LSD). “The Montana Legislature has invested taxpayer money, and with it, its trust that we would provide a quality service to the people. I think we are now bringing to fruition the goal of expanded, transparent coverage of government with the technological quality that the public has come to expect. Our close partnership with Montana PBS will enable us to grow, add value, and bring greater coverage of public affairs to more Montana citizens.”
Evolving technology implemented by the LSD also improves the quality of the service. All live events produced at the Capitol are now in high definition and have a wide screen format to better serve modern televisions. A new increased broadcast bandwidth delivers a higher quality signal to its viewers. Viewers will see high-definition graphics and a new look and logo. Program schedule information will be available to viewers via listing services and the Montana PBS app. These improvements enable viewers to see what they are currently watching and allow them to digitally record future programming. In addition, Montana PBS and the LSD are working together to create closed captioning options for viewers in the near future.
Pruitt says the team creatively reimagined how the channel might better serve Montanans. “We all agreed that a new name and look was a great place to start. Under the direction of the LSD, the MPAN channel really belongs to the citizens of the state.”
MPAN reaches thousands of Montana homes through the efforts of Montana broadcasters, cable, and telecommunications providers. MPAN is seen in over 225 communities every day. It’s carried on Charter Communications, Montana PBS, 3 Rivers Communications, Mid-Rivers Communications, Nemont, MT Opticom, Skyview TV, Tobacco Valley Communications, Valley County Television District #1, Southern Montana Telephone, and Viking Broadband. MPAN is channel 191 in all Charter Spectrum markets, and is also on Montana PBS's over the air digital lineup on the .5 channel as "Montana Capitol Coverage."
MPAN provides the video for the Montana Legislature’s live streaming service online at www.leg.mt.gov. Viewers can also engage with the service through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on the web at www.leg.mt.gov/audio-video.
For more information:
K’Lynn Sloan Harris, MPAN Production Manager - 406-444-4828
Susan Fox, Executive Director, Legislative Services Division - 406-444-3066
Aaron Pruitt, Interim Director and General Manager, Montana PBS - 406-994-5021