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Cable

The cable industry, more than most, is shaped by a unique business and regulatory past as well as a dynamic technological and competitive future. Our attorneys have focused on this industry from its early days, bringing clients the perspective and depth of knowledge needed to truly add value to their business operations.

Our cable industry team is comprised of more than 30 lawyers from the former Cole, Raywid and Braverman (CRB) firm, a market-leading cable firm for more than three decades. The CRB lawyers joined the highly regarded communications, media, technology, transactional and litigation practices at Davis Wright Tremaine to bring clients a broader set of capabilities which meet their traditional and emerging needs. Our lawyers know the economics and technology of the cable industry, and have helped shape the myriad federal, state and local laws that affect it. We are supported by a team of skilled, industry focused paralegals with in-depth knowledge and industry relationships who can help you manage complex and short-deadline “crunch” projects quickly and cost-effectively.

Our team has been involved in virtually every major cable transaction in the past 20 years, including the sale of Adelphia’s cable systems and other assets. We have helped establish standards and new technologies in cable and telecommunications and have helped related associations shape state video franchising legislation and commission regulations. We have also played major roles in negotiating digital technology standards with the consumer electronics and IT industries.

We offer expertise and strategic advice on all aspects of the cable television business, including the following:

  • Franchise agreements
  • Overbuilds
  • Access-to-premises issues
  • Competitive market entry and competitive pricing
  • Transfers
  • Mergers
  • Commercial leased access
  • Institutional networks
  • Franchise fees and taxes
  • Rate regulation
  • Privacy and security, including issues specific to Internet and voice service
  • Access to poles, conduits and rights-of-way
  • Consumer protection and customer service
  • Public, educational and governmental access channels and facilities
  • Signal carriage (including must carry and retransmission consent)
  • Content regulation (political advertising, indecency)
  • Specialized cable and telecom agreements for large, multiple-dwelling unit properties
  • Theft of service
  • EEO
  • Program navigation devices
  • Delivery of programming to consumer devices
  • Program access complaints and other adjudications at the FCC

Our services include:

  • Counseling clients on compliance within the maze of federal and state regulations governing cable operations
  • Preparing comments and meeting with FCC commissioners on significant policy matters
  • Participating in, monitoring and reporting on FCC and state rulemaking proceedings
  • Representing major industry groups in opposing FCC indecency enforcement and efforts to expand content regulation
  • Preparing operational agreements between cable networks and cable TV operators
  • Representing cable networks in licensing and production deals
  • Counseling cable networks on content and programming matters, including conducting pre-broadcast reviews
  • Obtaining regulatory consents for operations and transactions
  • Assisting clients in securing rights of way and joint use agreements with utilities and government agencies
  • Litigation of any issue that requires an understanding of the competitive and regulatory aspects of the cable television industry

We supplement this tremendous depth of focus with a commitment to custom-tailoring our work and service model to your particular needs. We make sure we fully understand how our clients define success in a given project or relationship and then structure our approach to help meet their goals and preferences.