City gives preliminary OK to renewal of Comcast deal
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.