The preschooler-targeted network Sprout is the latest addition to Cablevision’s Optimum TV, which announced on Wednesday that Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze network would be available by the end of the month. Sprout announced a slate of new programming last month at NBC’s Summer Press Day, as well as the renewal of its hit The Chica Show for a second season. Click over to read today’s release: READ MORE »
The deal includes Clearview‘s venues except for Manhattan’s famous Ziegfield Theatre — which Bow Tie will manage for Cablevision. The companies didn’t disclose a price for the deal. The acquisition of Clearview’s 41 theaters will make Bow Tie the nation’s No. 8 exhibition company. Clearview’s Chelsea Cinemas will become Bow Tie’s Manhattan flagship and will continue to be “a prime venue for iconic industry events” including the Tribeca Film Festival,” the company says. Bow Tie adds that it will “further develop the relationships between Chelsea Cinemas and the local community.” It also vows to pay for “key upgrades that are designed to enhance the movie-going experience” including digital and 3D projection. Cablevision bought Clearview in 1998 and put it on the block about a year ago. “It is not a strategic asset for us,” Cablevision CFO Gregg Siebert said at the time. Cablevision also has other fish to fry as it struggles to grow as it deals with tough competition from Verizon and AT&T for video, broadband, and phone customers.
Here’s the release:
The stock was just up 3.6% last year, but the board says that execs did a good job despite “the continuing difficult economic and competitive environment in 2012 and the impact of Superstorm Sandy.” Jim Dolan‘s package consisted of …
CEO Jim Dolan didn’t have to look far to find the three execs he just named to top jobs reporting to him. He appointed his wife Kristin to a new position of President of Optimum Services, giving her …
The cable operator will pocket $525M and AMC Networks will end up with $175M the companies said today in an SEC filing. This was the last big question remaining after Dish Network agreed in October to pay $700M …
Citi Research analyst Jason Bazinet thinks it is, and he agrees that “the odds have increased dramatically that Cablevision is sold within the next 12-18 months.” His report today making the case for chairman Charles Dolan and his son, CEO Jim Dolan, to sell — most likely either to Time Warner Cable or Charter — contributed to a 2.5% rise in Cablevision’s stock price, to $14.08. Without the sale speculation, Bazinet figures Cablevision shares would trade closer to $11. Why should the Dolans unload the company they’ve worked so hard to build? Cablevision has a lot of debt, and may find it too difficult to grow. Rising prices for programming “will likely continue to place downward pressure on profitability,” the analyst says. (Cablevision recently sued Viacom alleging that it jacked up programming costs by bundling channels, a charge that the entertainment giant rejects.) Cablevision can’t easily raise prices: It’s engaged in trench warfare with Verizon’s FiOS to attract subscribers the tri-state area around NYC. And Cablevision also recently gave up some potential growth by selling its Rocky Mountain cable systems to Charter.
BETHPAGE, N.Y., March 11, 2013 – Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) today announced the appointment of Gregg Seibert to vice chairman. In addition to this new leadership position, he will continue to serve as the company’s chief financial officer, reporting to James L. Dolan, Cablevision president and chief executive officer.
The argument in a redacted version of Cablevision’s antitrust lawsuit at U.S. District Court in New York, released today (read it here), hits at a key part of Viacom’s defense. The entertainment company says that Cablevision could have licensed Viacom channels individually in the long term deal that they signed two months ago, and that businesses often provide discounts to customers who accept package deals. But the cable company says the “penalty” for not taking the package was so onerous that it “was no offer at all.” Indeed, the difference in prices over the life of the contract (undisclosed, although they typically run about six years) ”exceeded Cablevision’s entire 2013 budget for programming.” Viacom has so much market power, the suit says, that it was able to raise its prices at a time when ratings fell for its most popular networks which include Nickelodeon and MTV. What’s more, national ratings show “substantial declines in the daytime and primetime ratings” for nearly all of Viacom’s networks with Logo and VH1 Classic ranking “among the 10 lowest-rated cable networks, for both prime-time and 24-hour average viewing.” If Cablevision wasn’t forced to carry the lower rated Viacom channels, it says that it could have offered “superior programming” from Ovation, GMC, Me-TV, ASPiRE, and Retirement Living TV.
Listen to (and share) episode 25 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman.
Deadline Executive Editor Lieberman and host David Bloom look at the antitrust suit Cablevision filed against Viacom and what it might mean for the pay-TV oligopoly; whether Starz can be a star on its own; growing shareholder opposition to Bob Iger’s dual role at the top of Disney; and whether quality films can still sell lots of tickets.
UPDATE, 11:07 AM: Viacom and others are starting to react to Cablevision’s surprising lawsuit. The programming company says that “at the request of distributors” Viacom and others “have long offered discounts to those who agree to provide additional network distribution.” The company says that these are “win-win and pro-consumer arrangements” that “have been upheld by a number of federal courts and on appeal.” Viacom adds that it will “vigorously defend this transparent attempt by Cablevision to use the courts to renegotiate our existing two month old agreement.”
But Time Warner Cable seems to be cheering for Cablevision. “We frequently have pointed out that there are serious problems with the current programming environment,” the company says. “We think this lawsuit raises important issues, and we look forward to their resolution in the courts.”
PREVIOUS, 8:57 AM: Hold on to your seats. Cablevision filed its antitrust suit in federal court in Manhattan, alleging that Viacom illegally tied deals to offer must-watch channels including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central to agreements for 14 smaller channels including Palladia, MTV Hits, and VH1 Classic. “The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong,” Cablevision says. “Viacom effectively forces Cablevision’s customers to pay for and receive little-watched channels in order to get the channels they actually want. Viacom’s abuse of its market power is not only illegal, but also prevents Cablevision from delivering the programming that its customers want and that competes with Viacom’s less popular channels.” The suit alleges that Viacom threatened to “impose massive financial penalties unless Cablevision complied with Viacom’s demands.” Cablevision says the practice of selling channels as a package, instead of individually, is a “per se” tying arrangement that violates federal and New York state antitrust laws. It also charges that the practice violates laws against “block booking.” Cablevision wants the court to require Viacom to pay treble damages and legal fees, to bar the network owner from continuing to demand carriage deals, and to let the cable operator have separate deals for the “core” and “ancillary” networks while they negotiate new agreements.
On Tuesday I told you that something big was afoot at Charter Communications. Now we know: CEO Tom Rutledge has agreed to buy a collection of Cablevision’s cable systems in the Rocky Mountain states that he used to manage when he was COO of the Long Island-based company. He left at the end of 2011. Cablevision paid $1.4B for the systems, formerly known as Bresnan Communications, in 2010. But it said in November that it was considering selling the operation. The systems in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah have 304,000 video subscribers. Rutledge calls them “some of the fastest growing cable assets in the United States.” Cablevision shares were up 5.6% today as word of a possible deal began to spread. Charter was down just 0.5%.
Here’s the release:
Stamford, Connecticut – February 7, 2013 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) (“Charter”) and Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Charter Communications Operating, LLC will acquire Cablevision’s Bresnan Broadband Holdings, LLC (“Optimum West”) for $1.625 billion in cash. Optimum West manages cable operating systems in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah that pass more than 660,000 homes and serve 304,000 video subscribers and 366,000 customer relationships.
BETHPAGE, N.Y. November 28, 2012 – Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC) today named Tom Montemagno the company’s executive vice president of programming, responsible for all programming-related functions and negotiations covering all forms of content delivered to customers – including linear, On Demand and out-of-the-home authenticated programming. He will report to James L. Dolan, Cablevision’s president and CEO.
It’s a tough period for the Long Island-based cable company, not helped by a Q3 earnings report this morning that disappointed analysts and sent shares down more than 5%. Execs can’t estimate how much Hurricane Sandy might end up costing, although the company says the number could be “significant.” CEO James Dolan says that “there clearly will be some” homes lost, especially on Long Island’s shore lines. Customers who call Cablevision will be able to receive a rebate based on how long service has been out. But execs shied from providing specifics about the potential losses — as well as other timely subjects including one it raised today: Cablevision says it might sell its systems in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.