Monday, April 16, 2007
Cities Count on Cable $$
The Biz Journal points out how much Milwaukee received from TW Cable - "Across Time Warner's entire eastern Wisconsin service territory that runs from Kenosha on the south to Marinette on the north, the firm paid franchise fees totaling $18.2 million in 2006, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2005....In Milwaukee alone, those fees were $3.72 million in 2006, up from $3.56 million in 2005." And the biggest point to make about TV franchise fees: "The main concern of Milwaukee city officials is maintaining the revenue stream, whether it's from Time Warner or AT&T." So it is no surprise that the FCC is being sued for over-stepping their authority by setting franchise guidelines for cities. (see here). When I was in Tallahassee over Florida's ambiguous Communications Substitution Tax in 2003, cities were up in arms, because a large part of thier budget is made up of monies from communications - cell, landlines, cable TV, etc. The City of Tampa received $30M in comm money. So you can see how this would be an issue.