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SEC Filings

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /MO/ filed this Form S-1/A on 09/28/1999
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typically elect must carry, which is the broadcast signal carriage requirement
that allows local commercial television broadcast stations to require a cable
system to carry the station. More popular stations, such as those affiliated
with a national network, typically elect retransmission consent which is the
broadcast signal carriage requirement that allows local commercial television
broadcast stations to negotiate for payments for granting permission to the
cable operator to carry the stations. Must carry requests can dilute the appeal
of a cable system's programming offerings because a cable system with limited
channel capacity may be required to forego carriage of popular channels in favor
of less popular broadcast stations electing must carry. Retransmission consent
demands may require substantial payments or other concessions. Either option has
a potentially adverse effect on our business. The burden associated with must
carry may increase substantially if broadcasters proceed with planned conversion
to digital transmission and the Federal Communications Commission determines
that cable systems must carry all analog and digital broadcasts in their
entirety. This burden would reduce capacity available for more popular video
programming and new internet and telecommunication offerings. A rulemaking is
now pending at the Federal Communications Commission regarding the imposition of
dual digital and analog must carry.
     ACCESS CHANNELS.   Local franchising authorities can include franchise
provisions requiring cable operators to set aside certain channels for public,
educational and governmental access programming. Federal law also requires cable
systems to designate a portion of their channel capacity, up to 15% in some
cases, for commercial leased access by unaffiliated third parties. The Federal
Communications Commission has adopted rules regulating the terms, conditions and
maximum rates a cable operator may charge for commercial leased access use. We
believe that requests for commercial leased access carriages have been
relatively limited. A new request has been forwarded to the Federal
Communications Commission, however, requesting that unaffiliated Internet
service providers be found eligible for commercial leased access. Although we do
not believe such use is in accord with the governing statute, a contrary ruling
could lead to substantial leased activity by Internet service providers and
disrupt our own plans for Internet service.
     ACCESS TO PROGRAMMING.   To spur the development of independent cable
programmers and competition to incumbent cable operators, the 1992 Cable Act
imposed restrictions on the dealings between cable operators and cable
programmers. Of special significance from a competitive business posture, the
1992 Cable Act precludes video programmers affiliated with cable companies from
favoring their cable operators over new competitors and requires such
programmers to sell their programming to other multichannel video distributors.
This provision limits the ability of vertically integrated cable programmers to
offer exclusive programming arrangements to cable companies. Recently, there has
been increased interest in further restricting the marketing practices of cable
programmers, including subjecting programmers who are not affiliated with cable