Charles Dolan has stepped down as executive chairman of AMC Networks, marking the end of an era for the cable industry. Dolan, 93, ranks among the earliest pioneers of cable TV. The telecom entrepreneur had the foresight to wire parts of Manhattan for cable service in the 1960s and in 1971 launch the pay TV service that became HBO. He’s been chair of AMC Networks since the company was spun off from the Dolan family’s former cable empire, Cablevision, in 2011. AMC Networks board member James Dolan will replace his father as non-executive chairman of the company.
The $17.7 billion acquisition of Cablevision by France-based telecom giant Altice marked the end of an era for the New York media world in 2016. But the Dolans are not ready to go gentle into that good night, apparently. In a lawsuit filed today in Delaware Chancery Court, the family says Altice violated the merger agreement and also committed fraud, principally for allegedly starving the hyper-local News 12 Networks of resources.
Charter Communications has made an undisclosed investment in the advertising data and analytics company 605, which is run by former Cablevision COO Kristin Dolan. Under the agreement with 605, Charter will supply the company with aggregated and anonymized data culled from its network of pay-TV set-top boxes. In turn, 605 will use its proprietary data infrastructure and analytics capabilities to enhance Spectrum Reach, Charter’s advertising sales unit.
More than a year after closing arguments were heard in GSN’s FCC program carriage complaint against Cablevision, an administrative law judge has ruled that the MSO (now owned by Altice USA) discriminated against the programmer.
The FCC said late on Tuesday it had approved European telecom group Altice NV’s acquisition of U.S. cable company Cablevision Systems in a $17.7 billion deal that includes assumption of debt. The Dutch firm still needs approval from the state of New York and New York City. If the deal is approved, Altice would become the fourth largest U.S. cable provider. Cablevision has 3.1 million subscribers, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
CBS has made a first-ever deal with Cablevision Systems, in which the cable operator will provide live streaming of CBS programming. The deal means Cablevision TV customers can access CBS.com and the CBS App, streaming CBS live programming online and on mobile devices.
The companies said in a joint statement Friday they had resolved the legal fight over carriage of channels and were “entering into mutually beneficial business arrangements.”
Founder Patrick Drahi’s strategy in Europe is to turn his company into an essential household utility by offering consumers a “quad play” of one-stop shopping for video, broadband, wireless telecom and land-line telephone services. His play to buy Cablevision is a clear signal that he aims to extend his vision across the Atlantic.
France’s Altice has set a rich cash acquisition agreement for Cablevision that promises to make the European telecom conglomorate a player in the U.S. television business. Altice said early Thursday that would pay $34.90 a share in cash for Cablevision, valuing the deal at $17.7 billion including existing Cablevision debt. In May, Altice bought a majority stake in another U.S. operator, Suddenlink.
The new pact covers carriage of local broadcast stations including New York’s WPIX, Gracenote TV listings, a new agreement for Cablevision’s audience data and analytics. In addition, Cablevision will launch WGN America beginning in 2016.
CBS has made a wide-ranging content cable carriage agreement with Cablevision Systems Corp. — including a first-ever distribution deal for CBS All Access, the over-the-top digital TV service. The deal, which also covers its first distribution deal for Showtime Internet Service, includes carriage agreement for CBS-owned TV stations, Showtime, CBS Sports Network and Smithsonian Channel.
A New York federal judge gunned down Cablevision’s anti-Verizon commercials and issued a temporary injunction against the cable firm. Cablevision’s TV spots feature dueling cowboys who mock Verizon, portraying it as a liar vis-à-vis claims about its Internet speeds and DVR quality.
n June 23, James Dolan’s cable giant finally answers allegations that it strong-armed employees during a bruising, three-year tangle with the communication workers’ union.
Maybe it’s time to stop calling them “cable TV” companies. “Connectivity is our No. 1 product now; it is no longer video,” Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan told an investor gathering today. “That is a significant change to our model.”
Cablevision CEO James Dolan said Wednesday that consolidation of local marketplaces would benefit cable companies. It “would provide a great deal of ingenuity and access to much more resources for customers and lower prices,” he said. “If New York was operated like one market, you would see things like Wi-Fi distributed throughout the entire marketplace,”
Cablevision Media Sales, a unit of MSO Cablevision Systems, has announced Total Audience Application (TAPP), a data-driven tool that automates the planning of addressable and optimized linear TV advertising campaigns.
Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are partnering to provide advertisers with set-top box data that reveals granular viewing trends in the New York market. The cable operators said they will release a quarterly report based on audience tuning data on more than 300 TV networks, drawn from more than 3.5 million households that represent nearly half of the New York designated market area.
Investors and consumer groups will be watching for just such a possibility following the U.S. District Court decision on Friday to let Cablevision pursue an antitrust claim against Viacom.
WFSB, Cablevision Settle Retrans Dispute
Meredith-owned CBS affiliate WFSB Hartford-New Haven, Conn., announced on its website and through social media that it hadsreached a deal with Cablevision to restore its programming to the cable provider’s Optimum TV service.
WFSB-Cablevision Retrans Deal Down To Wire
Cablevision’s contract to carry Meredith’s CBS affiliate WFSB Hartford, Conn.,on its cable system will expire at midnight on Dec. 31 and if a new deal isn’t struck before then, the station will be removed from the Cablevision OptimumTV lineup.
The National Labor Relations Board can go ahead with its administrative trial this month on charges that Cablevision resorted to intimidation, bribery and harassment to stop some of its workers in the Bronx from joining the Communications Workers of America. Chief Justice John Roberts — who’s also the Circuit Justice for D.C. — turned down, without comment, Cablevision’s plea for him to stop the proceeding.
Time Warner Cable would rather grow through acquisitions than be bought by billionaire John Malone, and has been eyeing Cablevision, its most coveted target, and No. 3 cable operator Cox Cable, according to three people familiar with Time Warner Cable’s thinking.
Wall Street is fired up about consolidation in the cable industry and is betting on Charter Communications chief Tom Rutledge to lead the latest deal-making — potentially a merger involving Cablevision or Time Warner Cable. Although Charter is half the size of Time Warner, the fourth-largest pay TV provider, Wall Street would like to see the two combined under the leadership of Rutledge.
Cablevision Revs Dip, Total Subscribers Rise
Cablevision says it has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Viacom for allegedly forcing the cable company to carry and pay for 14 lesser-watched ancillary networks. It is seeking to void its December 2012 carriage agreement
Cablevision Systems is selling its Optimum West systems, which pass more than 660,000 homes and serve 304,000 video subscribers and 366,000 customer relationships in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.
Cablevision and Viacom finally reached a deal, and not a moment too soon. With about an hour to go before Times Square was set to usher in the New Year to the strains of “Auld Lang Syne,” the cable provider and the entertainment conglomerate have hammered out a deal to keep SpongeBob and the Situation lit up in New Jersey and Long Island.
The new multi-year agreement covers retransmission consent for NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations and provides sports, news and entertainment to Cablevision customers across multiple platforms in and out of home.
In addition to the $700 million cash settlement, Dish has also reached a new carriage agreement with AMC that saw the AMC back on Dish yesterday with IFC, Sundance, WE TV and the Madison Square Garden’s music-oriented Fuse channel returning on Nov. 1.
Dish Network programming boss Carolyn Crawford yesterday stormed out of the courtroom sobbing after being insulted by the judge — only to return and launch into a finger-wagging verbal assault on a Cablevision lawyer.
A new multi-year agreement will provide sports, news and entertainment to Cablevision customers in and out of the home. It also reups retrans deals for WABC New York and WPVI Philadelphia.
WPIX News Ratings Plunge During Blackout
Tribune surely knew the ratings for its New York CW affiliate would drop due to the carriage blackout to some 3 million area Cablevision homes. So far, however, any lost ad dollars caused by the bleeding have not prompted the station group to accede to Cablevision’s demands to restore WPIX. During the approximately five-week period from Aug. 20 to Sept. 23, household ratings by one metric for WPIX’s late newscast declined 42% to a 1.1 compared to a similar period last year. In the key adult 25-to-54 demo, the decline was 33% to a 0.6.
Cablevision is frequently at odds with broadcasters, but this is a case where they’re on the same side. The cable MSO tells a federal court that Aereo is wrong in claiming that a lawsuit won by Cablevision applies to Aereo’s Internet streaming service as well.
The new Cablevision deal with CBS could set a financial framework for a deal with Tribune, where WPIX in New York has been off homes in a huge portion of the country’s largest market for weeks. CBS will be affected by the standoff, since it is a part owner in the CW network, which is unavailable in many New York homes now.
The omnibus pact includes the CBS O&Os as well as Showtime, the Smithsonian Channel and the CBS Sports Network. It also covers distribution of CBS programming on Cablevision’s VOD and TV Everywhere platforms.