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Michigan Government Television (MGTV) collection

Identifier: 00252

Scope and Content

The collection consists of daily programming schedules and videorecordings received from Michigan Government Television (MGTV) during its operation. Coverage includes the televised broadcasts of proceedings of the House of Representatives, the Senate, oral arguments at the Supreme Court, speakers at the Economic Club of Detroit, commencement speakers at universities in the state, press conferences of state officials, committee and commission meetings of many state departments, live phone-in programs, speakers on public policy and special historical programs and conferences. Many speakers are nationally known political and business leaders.

During election years, candidates for national political offices visited the state of Michigan for campaign events and debates some of which were televised by MGTV. Also televised were MGTV election forums, state political party conventions, discussion and interview programs with candidates for state offices.

Special educational programs include a program about Michigan's Civil War Battle Flags (broadcast on April 17, 2000), a program titled "Defining moments: Frank Murphy, Fred Korematsu and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II" (broadcast on March 9, 2004), and a reenactment of Teddy Roosevelt's 1907 speech to the Michigan state legislature (broadcast May 31, 2007).

The Michigan State University Spartans Men's Basketball team and 2000 NCAA Champions were honored at a Capitol Rally which was broadcast on April 7, 2000.

A program at the Capitol honoring the 1968 World Series Champions Detroit Tigers was broadcast on December 3, 2003.

Michigan high school civics events such as mock elections, the "We the People" program and the Youth in Government program are also included in the televised proceedings.

From July 15, 1996 through February 2003, the programming was recorded on VHS tape. Beginning February 2003, the programming was placed on DVD. The last recording was January 16, 2013. Digitized recordings and records are also included in this collection.

An archive of MGTV website can be found at


  • Creation: 1996 - 2013

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

Discussions by Michigan Cable Telecommunications Association (MCTA) and research into the feasibility of creating a cable network to cover the workings of Michigan state government in a similar manner to the national C-SPAN networks coverage of the federal government led cable companies and Gov. John Engler to launch a state run television operation in 1993. An initial investment of $1.5 million provided state-of-the-art equipment, covering the state House and Senate, Michigan Supreme Court, press conferences and other activities.

In 1995, the cable industry (Comcast, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, Broadstripe, and Time Warner Cable) offered to take over Michigan Government Television (MGTV) and reorganize it as a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation with a Board of Directors composed of cable industry executives. The network would be completely independent of state government, financed by the cable industry through cable subscription fees, and editorial control of programming would reside entirely in the hands of the corporation’s executive director. The governor’s office turned over the project to the cable industry in December 1995.

MGTV launched on July 15, 1996. Programming covered events and proceedings within the state government, including sessions of the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate, commission meetings from within the executive branch and state board of education, press conferences, speeches by policy makers, and events made available by the state’s universities.

When it began to air oral arguments from Michigan’s Supreme Court in October of 1996, MGTV became the second television network in U.S. history to carry live coverage of a state’s highest court.

In January 2013, MGTV discontinued satellite delivery to cable stations to focus on internet delivery of its signal. Many government access television stations discontinued coverage at that time. It was later shut down entirely due to lack of funding.

[Source: Wikipedia and press releases.]


100 Cubic Feet (paper, VHS tapes and DVDs, electronic records)

Language of Materials



Some materials are stored off-site. Advance notice of 24 hours is required for use.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.


Michigan Government Television (MGTV) Collection
4 Published And Cataloged
E. Busch
November 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US