Frequently asked questions

How is CMCM Funded?

CMCM receives funding from PEG fees, fee for service productions, and individual and business donations. PEG stands for Public, Education and Government, the PEG fees can only be only be applied to those sectors in the facilitation and production of cable television content.

Many people mistakenly believe we are funded by the Cable Operators. That is not the case, we receive absolutely no funding from Comcast and AT&T. The PEG fees we receive are actually paid for by cable TV subscribers which the cable operators pass on to the local video franchise authority (MGSA) - who then passes the fees to us. Cable subscribers pay as little as $1 month in PEG fees depending on their cable package.

Thanks to the efforts of cable operators and their lobbyists, PEG fees carry capital restrictions, meaning those funds can only be spent on equipment/facility related costs and not on operational support such as staff and community trainers. This means CMCM must raise additional funds to pay staff and expand our youth and public offerings to the community.

Do Marin Cities fund CMCM?

Marin County and the cities do not directly fund CMCM but we do charge a fee for the productions services we offer governmental entities. Under our contract to provide PEG services to Marin County, we are required to purchase and install the A/V equipment necessary for covering local government meetings. To date we have done ten such installations in Marin cities and four more for County related agencies. These installations are essential to providing government transparency for all the residents of the County and the it enables live cable transmissions as well as recording for archiving. During the pandemic, CMCM upgraded all these installation to hybrid capabilities for remote public participation. On average CMCM carries over 650 meetings from around the county each year.

Why are your memberships and courses so inexpensive?

CMCM is committed to making training and access to the means of media production and dissemination affordable and accessible to all Marin residents. We will maintain this pricing policy as long as fiscally possible.

Is your current PEG Fee funding stable?

PEG Fees are always under attack. As cable subscribers 'cut the cord' the related PEG fees are also reduced. There are no PEG fees paid for broadband internet services which provides all the popular streaming services. In addition Cable Operators are always looking for ways to eliminate PEG Fees and Franchise Fees through legislative changes. Last FY PEG fees accounted for 70% of our budget, so any reduction in those funds does have a dramatic impact on the services of CMCM. That is why we always need more public support.

How large is the CMCM Staff?

Not large, and not as big as we need and would like. We currently have four full time employees who handle the operations for the media center, the government meeting admin work, programming operations for the three cable channels and all the admin required for a non-profit organization. In addition we have 10 part-time employees most of whom are the production operators for government meetings around the county. With more funding we would create more positions for community related work and youth offerings - that's where public support can help the most.

If you want to learn more, we encourage you to review our annual report - available here: