August 29, 2013

CMA Members Seek Comcast's Commitment to Strong Community Benefits in its Franchise Renewal

On August 28, 2013, nine CMA members led by Robbie Smith, met with Comcast executives Matt Summy, Lisa Ouzounian, and Comcast's Counsel, John McGuire, to discuss the City of Chicago's upcoming cable franchise agreement with Comcast. Comcast's current franchise expires in March of 2014. 

CMA Members made explicit the expectations they have that Comcast make a commitment to a strong community benefits agreement to support public access television. 

CMA Member Jake Austen described the group's concerns at the erosion of public access across the country, the harmful language of the recent cable industry proposal at the state level, and PEG cuts and closures that have resulted from the diversion of funding away from public access.

Phyllis Logan said that CMA is seeking Comcast's commitment to a renewal agreement that meets the following three critical concerns:

a) Direct funding of CAN TV to preserve the independent management structure that has worked for 30 years
b) Funding that meets or exceeds the RCN agreement
c) Technical parity that at a minimum meets the RCN standard

For a full text of the letter sent to Matt Summy summarizing the meeting, click here.