Agreement preserves services, benefits to citizens; Insight makes one-time distribution of $3.5M to city
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2011) – After a year of focused negotiations, Louisville Metro Government and Insight Communications have reached a settlement agreement. It includes a one-time distribution of $3.5 million and preserves existing services and benefits to cable customers and the community – which was Mayor Greg Fischer’s primary goal.
“Our negotiating team has worked hard to protect cable customers and ensure that valuable community services are maintained – so this is a solid agreement for the community,” Fischer said.
The settlement agreement was reached Thursday night and will be finalized today. Fischer said the $3.5 million will immediately be used to reduce the current city government budget deficit.
Under the settlement agreement, the City of Louisville’s franchise will remain in place until a new one can be ironed out with Time Warner. The current practice of providing cable at no charge to schools and government buildings will remain in place. In addition, a second government channel will become operational to provide additional coverage of city meetings, community events, public service information and educational programming.
Fischer praised the franchise negotiating team which included County Attorney Mike O’Connell; his General Counsel, Pat Mulvihill; Ron Weston; Matt Schuster, manager of the city’s Metro TV Channel 25; and a state and national telecommunications expert.
The franchise agreement with Insight will eventually be transferred over to Time Warner which recently gained federal approval to acquire Insight. The city will then begin new negotiations with Time Warner on a new franchise agreement.
Fischer said he has contacted Time Warner officials and will work with them to maintain and hopefully increase the nearly 1,500 call center, sales and production jobs that Insight currently provides in Louisville. “We will be making an all-out effort to demonstrate that Louisville is the right place for Time Warner to stay and grow their business,” Fischer said.