Print Page  Close Window

SEC Filings

RENAISSANCE MEDIA GROUP LLC filed this Form S-4/A on 09/04/1998
Entire Document
signals. The nature and amount of future payments for broadcast signal
carriage cannot be predicted at this time. In a recent report to Congress, the
Copyright Office recommended that Congress make major revisions of both the
cable television and satellite compulsory licenses to make them as simple as
possible to administer, to provide copyright owners with full compensation for
the use of their works, and to treat every multichannel video delivery system
the same, except to the extent that technological differences or differences
in the regulatory burdens placed upon the delivery system justify different
copyright treatment. The possible simplification, modification or elimination
of the compulsory copyright license is the subject of continuing legislative
review. The elimination or substantial modification of the cable compulsory
license could adversely affect the Company's ability to obtain suitable
programming and could substantially increase the cost of programming that
remained available for distribution to the Company's customers. The Company
cannot predict the outcome of this legislative activity.
  Cable operators distribute programming and advertising that use music
controlled by the two major music performing rights organizations, ASCAP and
BMI. In October 1989, the special rate court of the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York imposed interim rates on the cable
industry's use of ASCAP-controlled music. The same federal district court
recently established a special rate court for BMI. BMI and certain cable
industry representatives recently concluded negotiations for a standard
licensing agreement covering the usage of BMI music contained in advertising
and other information inserted by operators into cable programming and on
certain local access and origination channels carried on cable systems. ASCAP
and cable industry representatives have met to discuss the development of a
standard licensing agreement covering ASCAP music in local origination and
access channels and pay-per-view programming. Although the Company cannot
predict the ultimate outcome of these industry negotiations or the amount of
any license fees it may be required to pay for past and future use of ASCAP-
controlled music, it does not believe such license fees will be material to
the Company's operations.
  Cable systems are subject to state and local regulation, typically imposed
through the franchising process, because they use local streets and rights-of-
way. Regulatory responsibility for essentially local aspects of the cable
business such as franchisee selection, billing practices, system design and
construction, and safety and consumer protection remains with either state or
local officials and, in some jurisdictions, with both.
  Cable systems generally are operated pursuant to nonexclusive franchises,
permits or licenses granted by a municipality or other state or local
government entity. Franchises generally are granted for fixed terms and in
many cases are terminable if the franchisee fails to comply with material
provisions. The terms and conditions of franchises vary materially from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Each franchise generally contains provisions
governing payment of franchise fees, franchise term, system construction and
maintenance obligations, system channel capacity, design and technical
performance, customer service standards, franchise renewal, sale or transfer
of the franchise, territory of the franchisee, indemnification of the
franchising authority, use and occupancy of public streets and types of cable
services provided. A number of states subject cable systems to the
jurisdiction of centralized state governmental agencies, some of which impose
regulation of a character similar to that of a public utility. Attempts in
other states to regulate cable systems are continuing and can be expected to
increase. To date, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have not enacted such
state level regulation. However, a bill which was pending in the 1997 term of
the Louisiana legislature and which provided for the certification and
regulation of cable television systems by the PUC was not re-introduced in the
1998 term. The bill, if adopted, would have (i) allowed the PUC to void, order
new rates or reduce rates found to be discriminatory or necessary to reflect
adequate service; (ii) required that all cable television systems commencing
or expanding service be franchised conditioned upon confirmation by the PUC;
and (iii) provided the PUC with the authority to order construction,
operation, or an extension of cable service on such terms and conditions as it
deems reasonable where cable service has been unreasonably delayed or
withheld. However, this bill could be re-introduced for the 1999 legislative
session, which begins on the last Monday of March 1999. During its 1997-1998
session, the Tennessee legislature considered a bill which would authorize
municipalities operating electric