1. No transfer, renewal or amendment of any franchise, or any transfer of control of a franchise or certificate of confirmation or of facilities constituting a significant part of any cable television system shall be effective without the prior approval of the commission. Such approval shall be required in addition to any municipal approval required under the franchise or by law. For the purposes of this section, a merger or consolidation of two or more cable television companies shall be deemed to be a transfer of the franchises or certificates granted to such companies.
2. A person wishing to transfer, renew or amend a franchise, or to transfer control of a franchise or of a substantial part of the facilities thereof shall file with the commission an application for approval of such change, in such form and containing such information and supporting documents as the commission may require. The application shall be accompanied by proof of service thereof upon the franchisor, if any, and by such fee as the commission may set. The commission may hold a public hearing on any such application as set forth in subdivision two of section two hundred twenty-one of this article.
3. The commission shall approve the application unless it finds that the applicant, the proposed transferee or the cable television system does not conform to the standards established in the regulations promulgated by the commission pursuant to section two hundred fifteen of this article or that approval would be in violation of law, any regulation or standard promulgated by the commission or the public interest, provided however, that a failure to conform to the standards established in the regulations promulgated by the commission shall not preclude approval of any such application if the commission finds that such approval would serve the public interest.
4. The commission may approve the application contingent upon compliance with standards, terms or conditions set by the commission which it determines would not have been met by the proposed transfer, renewal or amendment.
5. In the event the commission refuses to approve the application, it shall set forth in writing the reasons for its decision.
6. Approval of a transfer, renewal or amendment under this section shall not preclude invalidation of a franchise illegally obtained.
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