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Local News in Brief : Santa Ana : Deal Means Rebate for Cable TV Subscribers

Cable television subscribers in Santa Ana will receive rebates and a temporary rollback of monthly fees under a deal approved by the City Council.

The agreement between the city and Comcast Cablevision ends a long-running feud and settles a lawsuit in which each side disputed the type of services the cable firm was obligated to provide.

Current cable subscribers will be credited with the $4.45 monthly surcharge they have been paying since last March when the firm--citing the city’s refusal to renegotiate certain terms of the cable contract--raised its rates from $13.50 to $17.95.

Monthly costs to subscribers will also go down to $13.50 “for a short time,” but Comcast expects to raise fees to a level “well below most of the other cable operators in Orange County,” said James W. Bequette, western region vice president for the cable firm. Most firms charge $17 to $21, he said.

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Under the settlement, Comcast Cablevision assumes responsibility for running the local government channel, Channel 3, which will result in a savings to the city estimated at $603,934. In addition, Comcast will pay the city $628,602 as reimbursement for amounts previously spent by the city for local programming, said City Atty. Edward J. Cooper.


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