Edward M. Kopanski, Braxton, Johnson & Kopanski, Philadelphia, for appellants.
John J. Runzer, Nancy J. Gellman, Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, Philadelphia, for appellees, Telesystems Corp. and Communications Properties, Inc.
Barry E. Ungar, Mann & Ungar, Philadelphia, for appellees, Phila. Cable Television Co. and Mid N. Y. Broadcasting Corp.
Gregory M. Harvey, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Philadelphia, for appellees, Bulletin Co. and North Phila. Cable Television Co.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Roberts, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Jones, C. J., and Pomeroy, J., join. Pomeroy, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Jones, C. J., and Roberts, J., join.
This appeal arises from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia which sustained preliminary objections and dismissed the complaint in equity filed by appellants, Philadelphia Community Cable Coalition Association (Coalition) and John A. Zeh (Zeh), a resident of Philadelphia,*fn1 against appellees.
This appeal deals with the granting of six cable television franchises in Philadelphia. In 1966 Philadelphia City Council divided the city into six different television cable areas with franchise rights being granted to six different cable television companies. The six ordinances all contained the following identical provisions (except for the names of the franchise holders):
"Section 3. Telesystems Corporation may enter into an agreement with any person now authorized to erect poles, overhead wires or cables and underground wires or cables for the purpose of sharing those facilities. The conditions set forth in Section 2 of this ordinance shall apply to the use of joint facilities insofar as those
facilities are used by Telesystems Corporation for television transmission."
"Section 6. The authorization granted by this ordinance may be exercised only by Telesystems Corporation except that it may be assigned to an affiliate or subsidiary of Telesystems Corporation substantially owned by Telesystems Corporation, provided that the assignor and ...