City Channel Franchise

Innovation &Performance and City Channel logo seals.

The Department of Innovation & Performance is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the City’s cable franchise. This means that, among other duties, it administers and negotiates franchise agreements, franchise renewals and transfers as necessary with incumbent providers and new entrants; ensures provision of public access television, overseeing the contract with Pittsburgh Community Television; and regulates basic rates as permissible under federal law. (Under federal law, the City is prevented from regulating cable rates except for the price of basic cable, installation and some rental charges.)

The City charges Comcast and Verizon a franchise fee to use the public rights-of-way for private enterprise. The franchise fee is five percent of Comcast's and Verizon's gross revenue. Under Federal law, cable companies are permitted to pass this fee on to cable subscribers and so it is charged on monthly cable bills. The City deposits the revenues from the franchise fee into the General Fund, which is utilized to pay for City services, such as Police and Fire protection; these costs would otherwise be paid by taxpayer dollars. Cable television services in the City of Pittsburgh are provided by Comcast and Verizon.

  • Comcast can be reached at 1-800-COMCAST.
  • Verizon can be reached at 1-855-384-0216.