GREATER MEDIA CABLEVISION SYSTEMS
NOTES TO COMBINED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS -- (CONTINUED)
The 1992 Cable Act permits certified local franchising authorities to order
refunds of basic service tier rates paid in the previous twelve-month period
determined to be in excess of the maximum permitted rates. The Company may be
required to refund additional amounts in the future.
The Combined Systems believe that they have complied in all material
respects with the provisions of the 1992 Cable Act, including the rate setting
provisions promulgated by the FCC. However, in jurisdictions that have chosen
not to certify, refunds covering the previous twelve-month period may be ordered
upon certification if a company is unable to justify its basic rates. The
Combined Systems are unable to estimate at this time the amount of refunds, if
any, that may be payable by the Combined Systems in the event certain of its
rates are successfully challenged by franchising authorities or found to be
unreasonable by the FCC. The Combined Systems do not believe that the amount of
any such refunds would have a material adverse effect on their financial
position or results of operations.
The 1996 Telecom Act, among other things, immediately deregulated the rates
for certain small cable operators and in certain limited circumstances rates on
the basic service tier, and as of March 31, 1999, deregulates rates on the cable
programming service tier (CPST). The FCC is currently developing permanent
regulations to implement the rate deregulation provisions of the 1996 Telecom
Act. The Combined Systems cannot predict the ultimate effect of the 1996 Telecom
Act on their financial position or results of operations.
The FCC may further restrict the ability of cable television operators to
implement rate increases or the United States Congress may enact legislation
that could delay or suspend the scheduled March 1999 termination of CPST rate
regulation. This continued rate regulation, if adopted, could limit the rates
charged by the Combined Systems.
A number of states subject cable television systems to the jurisdiction of
centralized state governmental agencies, some of which impose regulation of a
character similar to that of a public utility. State governmental agencies are
required to follow FCC rules when prescribing rate regulation, and thus, state
regulation of cable television rates is not allowed to be more restrictive than
the federal or local regulation. The Combined Systems are subject to state
regulation in Massachusetts.
10. SUBSEQUENT EVENT
On June 30, 1999, Charter Communications Entertainment I, LLC, an indirect
subsidiary of Charter Communications Holdings Company, LLC purchased the
Combined Systems for an aggregate purchase price of $500 million plus a working
capital adjustment. Effective with this change of ownership, the Combined
Systems will be managed by Charter Investment, Inc.