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RCN Franchise Approved by Chicago City Council

Ensures CAN TV's stability and independence

 

( April 24, 2012 ) – Today the Chicago City Council approved a precedent-setting franchise agreement for cable company RCN that provides stable funding and technical parity for the public’s channels in Chicago.

Last year, 46 of 50 Aldermen signed a letter to RCN stating they would only support a contract renewal that included an acceptable agreement for CAN TV. At the April 16, 2012 Committee on Finance hearing, aldermen rose to speak in support of CAN TV and expressed support of the contract finalized through negotiations between the City, RCN and CAN TV. Third Ward Alderman Pat Dowell said, “I think it’s important because it ensures robust funding for CAN TV which is very important to the city.”

RCN is the first of three cable companies to renew its franchise in Chicago. Its agreement secures 1% funding for public, educational and government (PEG) access programming with two-thirds to CAN TV and one-third to the City’s municipal channels. In addition, the public’s channels will have technical parity with local broadcast channels as technology evolves in the future.

Following the hearing, Chicago's Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Rosemary Krimbel, said that the City was “very happy” with the amount of PEG support outlined in the agreement.

Chicago residents also expressed support for the new agreement, including CAN TV producers and members of the Committee for Media Access (CMA) and Independent Producers Network.

“We’re very happy to see so many aldermen stand up and speak for CAN TV and feel that we’re a real asset to the city,” said Gordon Quinn, founder of Kartemquin Films and a member of the CMA.

RCN’s General Manager in Chicago, Tom McKay, expressed support of the measure.

“RCN is extremely pleased that we were able to get to this point and looks forward to another 10 years of serving the residents of Chicago and supporting CAN TV,” McCay said.

Prior to the final Council vote on April 24, 2012, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said, "I hope that this serves as a template when the agreements with the other cable providers come up, and that we ensure CAN TV continues to provide access to the public airwaves for average people throughout our city."

For complete coverage of the the proceedings, see the video below:

Posted in Politics and Elections


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