City gives pre­lim­i­nary OK to re­newal of Com­cast deal

Baltimore Sun - - AROUND THE REGION -

Bal­ti­more’s City Coun­cil on Thurs­day unan­i­mously voted to ap­prove a 10-year, $114 mil­lion deal with Com­cast to con­tinue pro­vid­ing cable tele­vi­sion in the city. The fran­chise agree­ment al­lows Com­cast of Bal­ti­more City LLC to “con­struct, op­er­ate, and main­tain a cable com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem” across pub­lic prop­erty in ex­change for 5 per­cent of the an­nual gross rev­enue the com­pany re­ceives from Bal­ti­more cus­tomers. Com­cast’s cur­rent 12-year deal in Bal­ti­more ex­pires at the end of this year. The new deal is ex­pected to de­liver about $114 mil­lion in rev­enue to the city over 10 years, in­clud­ing $30 mil­lion from fees charged for us­ing the city’s un­der­ground con­duit sys­tem. The 5 per­cent cut of cus­tomer rev­enue is es­ti­mated to gen­er­ate about $70 mil­lion over 10 years. The city also would re­ceive $14 mil­lion in other fees. The agree­ment does not ex­clude other cable com­pa­nies from strik­ing their own deals to op­er­ate in Bal­ti­more. A fi­nal vote on the agree­ment is ex­pected Mon­day.

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