Negotiating Cable Franchise Agreements and Renewals: Guidance for Municipal Attorneys
This CLE webinar will provide guidance to municipal attorneys for negotiating cable television franchise agreements and renewals on behalf of local governments. The panel will examine the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cable franchise orders, trends in the cable industry, key legal considerations for counsel negotiating cable TV franchise agreements, and the upcoming developments in Congress and at the FCC.
Under federal law, cable providers must have a franchise agreement with a local government (also known as a “local franchising authority”) to operate its cable system. Franchise agreements allow providers to operate a cable system in the public rights-of-way in return for certain benefits to the local government. These benefits include the payment of franchise fees, compliance with customer service standards, right-of-way protections, government access channels, franchise grants, free services, and possible upgrade of the cable system. Many municipalities have long-term franchise agreements in place with cable providers that are approaching renewal.
Municipal attorneys negotiating cable franchise agreements and renewals must navigate myriad legal and technical issues, including cable provider build-out obligations, avoiding economic redlining, ensuring franchise fee accountability, expanding institutional networks (I-Nets), requiring enhanced channel capacity for public, educational and government access (PEG) channels, and insisting that level playing field requirements don’t undermine cable competition. Counsel must also understand the interplay between federal, state and local laws regulating cable franchises.
Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the latest developments in cable TV franchise agreements, and considerations and best practices when negotiating cable franchising agreements and renewals.
I. Key features of cable TV franchise agreements
II. Navigating federal, state and local laws regulating cable TV franchising
III. Legal considerations when negotiating cable franchise agreements or renewals
The panel will review these and other key issues:
- The latest developments in cable TV franchise agreements
- Interplay of federal, state and local laws regulating cable TV franchising
- Legal considerations for municipal attorneys negotiating cable franchise agreements and renewals