Franchise Fees

Did You Know?

  • City Cable 15 staff has more than 265 years of combined media experience.

  • Southfield City Council Meetings air live and are replayed on Channel 15.

  • City Cable 15 was one of the first municipal cable stations in Michigan to go on the air back in 1983.

  • City Cable 15 programs more than 90 hours per week of community shows.

  • City Cable 15 has won more than 150 state, regional and national awards for excellence in programming.
What is the purpose of the franchise fee that appears on my cable bill?

Each month when you look at your Comcast Cable bill, you may notice a line item labeled “franchise fee."

Franchise fees are paid to local franchising authorities (cities) as compensation for the cable company’s use of the public right-of-ways or easements. A franchising authority is the municipality which gives permission to the cable company to use a street or area along residential property, where telephone or electric poles are located.

Franchise fees have always been a part of customer bills. Communities use franchise fees for a variety of purposes. Some use the fee for general services while others dedicate the funds to support their public, educational and governmental access channels. Southfield uses the majority of their fees to finance City Cable 15’s operation, which in turn provides local programming to cable subscribers.

Franchise fees are calculated as a percentage of your bill. Southfield's fee is eight percent of gross revenues.

Another fee that appears on your cable bill is the monthly FCC fee. This is paid to the Federal Communications Commission to support its regulatory activities. The fee can be either four or five cents.

For additional information, please contact JoAnne Gurley, Cable Regulation Specialist, at (248) 796-4503.