The City Council was scheduled last night to authorize City Manager Susan McCarthy to negotiate and execute a contract with Rutan & Tucker, LLP for “outside legal services and financial analysis on behalf of the City related to the transfer application of Adelphia Cable to Time Warner to ensure the applicant company is financially, legally, and technically qualified for the provision of cable television in the City of Santa Monica.”
Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corporation recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire Adelphia Communications Corporation’s assets, which includes Century-TCI (ada Adelphia) in Santa Monica.
Under the agreement, Time Warner would operate the cable television system in Santa Monica, and most of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles officials have described Time Warner’s operations as markedly superior to Adelphia’s.
The City received the Federal Communications Corporation’s form 394 transfer application to the new operator on June 14.
The law, including the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, review of requests for franchise renewal and transfer, includes, among other things, consideration of the legal, technical and financial qualifications of the company. In addition, according to the City’s staff report, “the renewal and transfer process may be used to require that issues of non-compliance with the franchise be resolved.
“The City’s interest is to ensure the Franchisee’s ability to perform, and to guarantee the performance itself, i.e. to ensure that service is not suspended and construction in the public right-of-way is not disrupted because of financial problems.”The proposed contract will provide legal analysis and negotiation assistance in the transfer process, including provision for expert services to review the financial situation of the acquiring company before and after the business combination.