After a yearslong journey, Southampton Town is finally on the verge of launching its second public access television channel — trading largely irrelevant, countywide programming for broadcast content created by local residents for the community.
The new station, SUN20TV — an acronym for “Southampton User Network” paired with its channel number — will launch in about two weeks in partnership with LTV, which will feed its programming to the burgeoning channel as it gets off the ground, according to its executive director, Connie Conway.
“It will be a community treasure,” Ms. Conway said of SUN20TV. “When you have your own community or public access channel, it really says a lot about the community because we know that families get involved, schools get involved, kids get involved, and this is really their way to communicate.”
Initiated by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman several years ago, the station is inspired by LTV’s use of its own channel 20 for more cultural programming, which will air in Southampton under the Altice cable lineup.
“They’ve got a terrific programming schedule, so we’re happy that they’ve allowed us to do this,” Ms. Conway said. “This is a terrific opportunity for them to showcase their material, too. They have a whole new audience now, when they’re tapping into the Southampton audience.”
The expanded breadth for LTV is not lost on its executive director, Michael Clark, who said he is “more than happy to welcome Southampton with open arms.” That’s what public access is all about, he added.
Until SUN20TV has a television studio — Ms. Conway is eyeing a few locations in Southampton Town Hall — LTV will open up its Wainscott studio doors to Southampton residents looking to record shows of their own starting March 1, for a small fee and with strict COVID-19 protocols in place, Mr. Clark noted.
But shooting in a studio isn’t necessary to make the cut, Ms. Conway said. She encourages locals to get out in nature, or share a piece of Southampton history, or whip up a new recipe in their kitchens at home — which can all be done right on a cellphone.
Southampton residents may submit their videos, free of charge, through a cloud-based service, while nonresidents must pay $100 and have a local sponsor, Ms. Conway said.