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SEC Filings

RENAISSANCE MEDIA GROUP LLC filed this Form S-4/A on 08/06/1998
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  Cable operators also face competition from private satellite master antenna
television ("SMATV") systems that serve condominiums, apartment and office
complexes and private residential developments. The 1996 Telecom Act broadens
the definition of SMATV systems not subject to regulation as a franchised
cable television system, and the FCC recently revised its cable inside wiring
rules to provide a more specific procedure for the disposition of internal
cable wiring that belongs to an incumbent cable operator that is forced to
terminate its cable services in a multiple dwelling unit ("MDU") building by
the building owner. SMATV systems offer both improved reception of local
television stations and many of the same satellite-delivered program services
offered by franchised cable television systems. SMATV operators often enter
into exclusive agreements with building owners or homeowners' associations.
Although some states have enacted laws that authorize franchised cable
operators access to such private complexes, Louisiana, Mississippi and
Tennessee have not. These laws have been challenged in the courts with varying
results. In addition, some companies are developing and/or offering to these
private residential and commercial developments packages of telephony, data
and video services. The ability of the Company to compete for customers in
residential and commercial developments served by SMATV operators is
  The FCC and the Congress have adopted policies providing a more favorable
operating environment for new and existing technologies that provide, or have
the potential to provide, substantial competition to cable television systems.
These technologies include, among others, DBS service, whereby signals are
transmitted by satellite to receiving facilities located on customer premises.
Programming is currently available to the owners of DBS dishes through
conventional, medium and high-powered satellites. DBS systems are increasing
channel capacity and are providing movies, broadcast stations, and other
program services comparable to those of cable television systems. Currently,
Primestar Partners (a consortium comprised of cable operators and a satellite
company), DirecTV and EchoStar Communications Corp. ("EchoStar") are providing
nationwide DBS services, with each company offering in excess of 100 channels
of video programming to subscribers. There are other companies that are
currently providing or are planning to provide domestic DBS services. American
Sky Broadcasting ("ASkyB"), a joint venture between MCI Communications Corp.
("MCI") and The News Corporation Limited ("News Corp."), is currently
developing high-power DBS services. Primestar, News Corp., MCI and ASkyB
recently announced several agreements in which News Corp., MCI and ASkyB will
sell to Primestar two satellites under construction and MCI will assign to
Primestar (subject to various governmental approvals) an FCC DBS license. The
satellites to be sold to Primestar, when operational, are expected to be
capable of providing approximately 200 channels of DBS service in the United
States. In 1997, the Primestar partners announced an agreement to consolidate
their DBS assets into a new company. DBS providers provide significant
competition to cable service providers, including the Company.
  Digital satellite service ("DSS") offered by DBS systems currently has
certain advantages over cable systems with respect to programming and digital
quality, as well as disadvantages that include high up-front costs and a lack
of local programming, service and equipment distribution. Presently satellite
program providers are only authorized to provide the signals of television
network stations to subscribers who live in areas where over-the-air reception
of such signals cannot be received. EchoStar recently announced plans to offer
some local television signals in a limited number of markets. Efforts are
underway at the United States Copyright Office and in Congress to ensure that
such offerings are permissible under the Copyright law. Legislation recently
was introduced in Congress which would permit DBS operators to rebroadcast
local television signals upon compliance with certain requirements, including
market-specific must-carry requirements and compliance with programming black-
out obligations. The ability to provide local broadcast signals in DBS program
packages would provide substantial competition to the cable television
industry. The Company cannot predict whether such legislation will be passed,
or the effect that it will have on the Company's business. While DSS presents
a competitive threat, the Company currently has excess channel capacity
available in most of its systems, as well as strong local customer service and
technical support, which will enhance its ability to compete. By selectively
increasing channel capacities of systems to between 78 and 110 channels and
introducing new premium channels, pay-per-view and other services, the Company
will seek to maintain programming parity with DSS and competitive service
price points. The Company will continue to monitor closely the activity level
and the product and service needs of its customer base to counter potential
erosion of its market position or unit growth to DSS.