Civil Cases – Opinions Released in Calendar Year 2022

City of Knoxville, Tennessee v. Netflix, Inc. (Definition of CCVSA) (Decided Nov. 22, 2022).

Style: City of Knoxville, Tennessee v. Netflix, Inc.

TSC Docket No.: M2021-01107-SC-R23-CV

Date of TSC Opinion: November 22, 2022.

Opinion of the TSC:   Click here

TSC Summary of the Opinion: This is a case about fitting new technology into a not-so-new statutory scheme. Exercising our power to answer questions certified to us by federal courts, we consider whether two video streaming services—Netflix, Inc. and Hulu, LLC—provide “video service” within the meaning of a Tennessee law that requires such providers to obtain a franchise and pay franchise fees to localities. Netflix and Hulu say they do not provide “video service” and therefore do not owe franchise fees; the City of Knoxville says they do. We agree with Netflix and Hulu.

Federal Court No.: 3:20-CV-00544-DCLC-DCP

Link to Federal Court Certification Order:

Certified Question: Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 23, a certification order was filed in this Court on September 20, 2021, by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Briefs have now been filed pursuant to Section 7, and, upon consideration of the certification order and the briefs filed by the parties, this Court accepts certification of the following question of law: Whether Netflix and Hulu are video service providers, as that term is defined in the relevant provision of the CCVSA, Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-59-303(19).

Certification Accepted: January 19, 2022

Oral Argument Date: May 3, 2022

Link to Oral Argument Video:


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