Cable Franchise Contract Negotiations Registration
One of the lesser known responsibilities of municipal officials is contract negotiations for cable television franchises. SEDA-COG has scheduled a series of meetings in June to educate elected and non-elected officials about their rights and potential benefits related to the negotiating process. Meetings are scheduled in Mifflintown, Sunbury, and Montoursville.
Under federal law, municipalities essentially serve as their cable company’s “landlord.” The companies place cable lines and other equipment in the public rights-of-way. The municipalities control those rights-of-way as a public trust, and they are entitled to benefits in return for the cable companies’ use of their property.
The potential for increased benefits is even greater if municipalities band together to negotiate franchise agreements. Group negotiations give municipalities more bargaining leverage with the cable companies. The process for working together and the benefits to the municipalities will be fully discussed at the cable TV meetings in June.
Information at the meetings will be presented by Attorney Dan Cohen of Pittsburgh’s Cohen Law Group, which has represented nearly four hundred municipalities in cable-related matters. Mr. Cohen has worked on cable issues for over 20 years.
In addition to SEDA-COG, the meetings are sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. For questions and registration information, contact Jim Baker, tel. 570-524-4491, e-mail email@example.com.