BATV is community television designed for your use and enjoyment. We would like to know what we can do for you. Please send an email to: or call (630) 937-5413.

History of Batavia Access Television

Batavia Access Television, Inc. traces its roots back to 1981. In June of that year the Batavia City Council approved the Batavia Social Services Corporation (BSSC) board.

Alderwoman Elsie Smith, who led the charge for community-access, television programming in Batavia, helped to create hundreds of productions for Batavia’s new cable system. She had many great successes with her video ventures, and she helped pave the way for hundreds of volunteers, producers, and others to follow her community-television trailblazing.

The primary function of the BSSC was to have a controlling interest in 200 shares of Multimedia Cablevision stock. There was a cable television subcommittee of the BSSC that made several attempts to incorporate, but a charter was never achieved. In 1990 the BSSC was dissolved, leaving 200 shares of stock worth over $360,000. The City of Batavia acquired the BSSC funds and made them available as grants to community organizations, clubs, and groups. Batavia Community Television (BCTV) evolved from the BSSC and was awarded a grant for $36,400. A portion of that money was used to buy equipment and supplies for its volunteer-based organization. Until that time, all BCTV revenues were generated from tape duplications and sponsorships.

Community television in Batavia saw many changes between 1981 and 2000. When the first studio was built in 1983, viewers would tune into Channel 10 to see their favorite, local programs. In 1989 the channel was changed to 44, in 1993 it moved to 43, and in 2003 it moved to 17. The first name change came in January 1996 when BCTV became Batavia Access Television (BATV-43). June 1996 marked another historical moment when the decision was made by the BATV Volunteer Board to hire a part-time program director for BATV-43.

The franchise agreement between the City of Batavia and Multimedia Cablevision was scheduled to expire in 1996. This allowed BATV an opportunity to provide for the future growth of the PEG (Public, Education, Government) access channels on the cable television system (currently operated by Comcast). The franchise agreement provides funding to staff and operate BATV; capital to upgrade BATV facilities and equipment; advertising to promote and publicize BATV; access to a mobile, production vehicle; and 2-way communication with each subscriber.

May 1998 brought the efforts of governmental and civic bodies to BATV. The BATV Volunteer Board of eight years was transformed into the current BATV Board with representation from the City of Batavia; Batavia School District; Batavia Park District; Batavia Library District; Batavia Township; Batavia Chamber of Commerce; and five, at-large, community members. The Board also seats tw0 non-voting members, the BATV Director of Operations,Program Coordinator; and a student body representative from Batavia High School.

In 2011, as part of the expansion of Batavia High School, BATV’s space was enlarged greatly, featuring a state of the art studio and control room, updated office space, and a connecting BHS classroom, allowing students to take advantage of BATV’s new amenities.

BATV Around the Web