The concerns over The City's new franchise agreement with Comcast have been bubbling under the surface for a while now, but things are just starting to get nasty. Gerardo Sandoval, in a Bay Guardian editorial estimates that Comcast makes around $100 in revenue from subscriptions, and the current contract proposal would involve about $2.5 million a year to The City -- a $3.5 million lump sum, $5 million for public and government programming and $500,000 a year over four years.
H. Brown is pissed that the deal was pretty much hashed out with the Mayor behind closed doors, though he does pardon the City Attorney's office, who have been accused of leniency in the negotiations:
Yeah. It's privatization. The City pays to film the meetings. The City officials get no money from Comcast for their appearance on the various shows. The City (SFGTV - San Francisco Government Television) then takes this finished product and gives it free to Comcast Corporation to sell back to the people who paid to make it in the first place...Comcast has effectively privatized the broadcast of City government and the Mayor is at fault.
H points out that Comcast donated $30,000 and advertising to the Gavster in the dream date competition known as the 2003 Mayoral race. Mike over at the Civic Center blog has a great update on the happenings this week, when the Board of Supervisors decided to table the approval of the Comcast contract until they get back from summer vacation.Photo of the ever-ghettofabulous Jake McGoldrick on SFGTV via the Civic Center blog.