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Cable TV: Council to Award Franchise Sept. 3

August 13, 1974

By David Reid
The Spokesman-Review

The City Council, after receiving a report Monday on the merits of four applicants for cable television rights in Spokane, set Sept. 3 as the date a franchise will be awarded.

The applicants are Viacom Television Service, Inc., an affiliate of Viacom Television Services, New York, N.Y.; Spokane Cablevision, Inc., an affiliate of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI), Denver, Colo.; Coaxial Systems of Spokane, Inc., an affiliate of American TV & Communications Corp. (ATC), Denver; and Cox Cable TV of Spokane, an affiliate of Cox Cable Communications, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

Ron Valley, chief engineer of KSPS-TV, told the council about the technical ability of the applicants. His summary showed that all would have at least 30 channels available.

The report rated Cox first in technical ability followed by ATC, Viacom and TCI.

John P. Zenz, a city department auditor, evaluated the finances of the applicants. His findings were that Viacom, ATC and Cox all are capable of financing the service to Spokane. TCI shouldn’t be considered because it didn’t supply enough information for the investigation, Zenz said.

Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel John J. Madden’s report on the services proposed by the companies rated Cox as very good; ATC, slightly above average; TCI, average; and Viacom, poor.

The Viacom application was down-rated for its proposal to have joint local programming with local educational television station KSPS-TV. Madden said the company would make a small investment to satisfy Federal Communications Commission rules.

Cox was rated best because of the strength of its commitment to service in its proposal.

Roger D. Crum, of the city manager’s office, gave a report of the management of the four applicants, which rated Cox at the top. ATC was rated second, Viacom was third and TCI was fourth.

Cox was commended for what the report called an extensive campaign to discuss cable TV with local business and educational leaders.

Also included were the ratings of the companies by officials in other cities that have the various cable television systems.

The council also heard five-minute presentations from representatives of the companies and set Aug. 21 as the deadline for final written arguments.

Thursday, August 13, 1974

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From → Cable Television

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