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Investor Relations

SEC Filings

10-K
GRAHAM HOLDINGS CO filed this Form 10-K on 03/29/1994
Entire Document
 
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      Beginning in October 1993 and at three-year intervals thereafter
commercial broadcasters may elect to forego must-carry rights and insist
instead that their signals not be carried without the prior consent of the
stations.  Prior to October 1993 some of the broadcast stations carried by the
Company's cable television systems opted for retransmission consent and
initially took the position that they would not grant consent without
commitments by the Company's systems to make cash payments.  As a result of
case- by-case negotiations, the Company's cable systems were able to continue
carrying virtually all of the stations insisting on retransmission consent
without having to agree to pay any stations for the privilege of carrying their
signals.  However some commitments were made to carry other program services
offered by a station or an affiliated company, to provide advertising
availabilities on cable for sale by a station and to distribute promotional
announcements with respect to a station.

      Various other matters addressed in the 1992 Cable Act may significantly
affect the costs or profits of cable television systems.  These matters include
a prohibition on exclusive franchises, restrictions on the ownership of
competing video delivery services, restrictions on transfers of cable
television ownership, new consumer protection measures, new technical and
signal quality standards, and various regulations intended to facilitate the
development of competing video delivery services.

      In contrast to the 1992 Cable Act, the Cable Communications Policy Act of
1984 (the "1984 Cable Act") restricted regulation of cable television in many
important respects.  Important provisions of the 1984 Cable Act that remain in
effect after the 1992 Cable Act include a requirement that franchises be
granted for reasonable periods of time, various remedies and safeguards to
protect cable operators against arbitrary refusals to renew franchises, and a
limitation on franchise fees to 5% of revenues.

      Apart from its new authority under the 1992 Cable Act, the FCC regulates
various other aspects of cable television operations.  Since 1990 cable systems
have been required to black out from the distant broadcast stations they carry
syndicated programs for which local stations have purchased exclusive rights
and request exclusivity.  Other long-standing FCC rules require cable systems
to delete under certain circumstances duplicative network programs broadcast by
distant stations.  The FCC also imposes certain technical standards on cable
television operators, exercises the power to license various microwave and
other radio facilities frequently used in cable television operations,
regulates the assignment and transfer of control of such licenses, and oversees
compliance with certain affirmative action and equal employment opportunity
obligations applicable to cable systems.  In addition, pursuant to the Pole
Attachment Act the FCC exercises authority to disapprove unreasonable rates
charged to cable operators by telephone and power utilities for utilizing space
on utility poles or in underground conduits.

      The Copyright Act of 1976 grants to cable television systems, under
certain terms and conditions, the right to retransmit the signals of television
stations pursuant to a compulsory copyright license.  Those terms and
conditions include the payment of certain license fees set forth in the statute
or established by subsequent administrative regulations.  The compulsory
license fees have been increased on several occasions since this Act went into
effect.  Some pending legislative proposals would modify or eliminate the
compulsory copyright licensing scheme, and the FCC and others have urged that
the compulsory license be phased out for local or distant broadcast signals or
both.  Still other proposals would extend the compulsory license to "wireless
cable," direct- broadcast satellite and other competitive media.





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