Cablevision Systems Corporation

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  • Wed, Jan. 27, 6:54 PM
    • A New York Public Service Commission hearing today over Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) deal to buy Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) heard some strong opposing voices, including customers and the Communications Workers of America.
    • Objections center around Altice's reputation for slashing jobs and taking on large amounts of debt in acquisitions.
    • “The current deal proposed would have a ripple effect on Cablevision’s programming, customer service, and employees,” said the CWA's Dennis Trainor. “There is a concern that Cablevision employees will lose their jobs and services will be cut for customers."
    • Altice's plan includes taking on nearly $9B in debt to close the deal; Cablevision reported its own total debt of more than $9B in its most recent results.
    • For their part, Altice and Cablevision say the CWA's take "relies on selective press accounts, mischaracterization and surmise to impugn the transaction and advance its own narrow interests."
    • Previously: Union to FCC: Reject Altice's $17.7B Cablevision buyout (Dec. 07 2015)
    • Previously: Cablevision -0.7% as Q3 revenues decline and miss (Nov. 03 2015)
    • Previously: Altice partners paying $1B to seal funding for Cablevision purchase (Oct. 27 2015)
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 6:54 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 1:09 PM
    • The FCC is planning to allow for open competition in pay-TV set-top boxes, which would open a new front against multichannel providers for hardware makers including Apple and Alphabet as well as TiVo.
    • A document shows that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler plans a proposal that would see a Feb. 18 vote, to open up a market where Americans spend $20B a year to lease equipment from their providers -- an average of $231/year.
    • The proposal also looks to prevent pay TV providers from using security systems to prevent competition. An industry trade group opposes competition in the device market, saying it wouldn't provide new programming or lower TV bills.
    • The entry of Apple and Google could mean that traditional set-top functions are provided by a tablet instead.
    • Set-top box rental fees have jumped 185% since 1994, the FCC's document says, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones has fallen 90% in that time frame.
    • Updated 1:11 p.m.: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tweets: "It is time for us to unlock the set-top box market, as we did w/ Ma Bell phones & devices on wireless networks."
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 1:09 PM | 25 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 1, 4:53 AM
    | Fri, Jan. 1, 4:53 AM | 27 Comments
  • Dec. 31, 2015, 6:00 PM
    • The FCC's year-end "Measuring Broadband America" report says DSL providers like Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier have a challenge ahead if sticking with copper, since speeds aren't keeping up with promises -- and cable providers have taken advantage (and share) this year.
    • DOCSIS 3.0 technologies are letting cablecos boost speeds to the three digits (100 Mbps), and DOCSIS 3.1 will allow for competition with fiber, and 1 Gbps speeds over coaxial networks.
    • "All ISPs using cable, fiber or satellite technologies advertise speeds for services that on average are close to or below the actual speeds experienced by their subscribers," the FCC says. "However, some DSL providers continue to advertise speeds that on average exceed actual speeds."
    • Cablecos like Comcast (CMCSA -0.5%), Charter (CHTR -0.6%), Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%), Cox and Cablevision (CVC +0.1%) raised maximum advertised speeds from 12-20 Mbps in March 2011 to 50-105 Mbps by September 2014.
    • Meanwhile, Verizon (VZ -1.2%) is in harvest mode on its copper lines, and its lack of FiOS plans in many areas means customers may seek fiber or cable alternatives. But in areas where Verizon and Frontier offer fiber-to-the-home, most popular speeds are 25 and 35 Mpbs.
    • CenturyLink (CTL -0.9%) and Frontier (FTR +0.2%) have made some moves to upgrade their copper networks, pushing into 100 Mbps trials in some cities.
    • For 2015: CMCSA -3.4%; CHTR +8.9%; TWC +21.4%; CVC +54%; VZ -3.4%; CTL -37.8%; FTR -31.6%.
    | Dec. 31, 2015, 6:00 PM | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 18, 2015, 5:05 PM
    • Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) has won FCC approval for its $9.1B purchase of Suddenlink, as the agency said the deal served the public interest.
    • Still pending is the European telecom's $17.7B plan to acquire Cablevision Systems (CVC -0.9%), a deal that when combined with the Suddenlink purchase would make Altice the No. 4 U.S. cableco.
    • The Suddenlink deal was the first move into the U.S. for Altice, controlled by French billionaire Patrick Drahi. It also controls broadband companies in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Israel and Portugal, and the FCC pointed to Altice's track record of improvements at those firms in approving the deal.
    • Suddenlink said last month that its Q3 revenue was up 3.6%, to $605.1M.
    • Previously: Altice partners paying $1B to seal funding for Cablevision purchase (Oct. 27 2015)
    • Previously: Altice enters the U.S. with Suddenlink stake (May. 20 2015)
    | Dec. 18, 2015, 5:05 PM
  • Dec. 7, 2015, 7:45 PM
    • Union workers are formally objecting to Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) $17.7B bid for Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) as not being in the public interest.
    • The Communications Workers of America represents some 300 Cablevision workers and has filed its objection with the FCC.
    • It's worried about substantial downsizing coming from the heavy debt load in the deal; whatever the reason, Altice (which has a slasher's reputation) had signaled in September that heavy cost cuts would come early and often at Cablevision as the parent aimed for $900M in reductions per year.
    • Cablevision spends about $49/month in operating expense per customer, while at Altice's French cableco Numericable-SFR, the figure is $14/month per customer.
    • “Altice takes on too much debt, outsources as much work as possible and then downsizes its workforce," said CWA's Dennis Trainor. "Customers get worse service and employees lose their job. Unless Altice makes commitments to protect customer service and Cablevision employees, the FCC should reject this deal.”
    | Dec. 7, 2015, 7:45 PM | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 4, 2015, 7:10 PM
    • The spread of consumer hardware for TV viewing, including Roku devices and Apple TV as well as next-gen gaming consoles, could kill off set-top boxes and ease capex for cablecos.
    • Analyst Craig Moffett sees costs decreasing for major pay-TV providers not only due to the boxes, but also once they complete a transition to next-gen transmission technologies, likely by 2019.
    • Boxes won't go extinct, but the rapid uptake of consumer hardware means the providers will see lower customer premise equipment costs -- in some cases by quite a bit, he argues.
    • "The idea that customers will eventually consume video through their own Apple TV or Roku boxes, or simply connect their cable to their smart TVs, Xboxes and Sony PlayStations, is neither new nor far-fetched," Moffett says. "There are good reasons to believe that CPE spending may come down significantly in future generations."
    • Time Warner Cable (TWC +1.8%) began supporting Roku-only cable service in New York City last month. Assuming its takeover by Charter (CHTR +2.1%) goes through, the combined company's CPE spending could drop to $917M by 2019, from $2.97B this year, Moffett says. Pro forma capital spending at Charter will fall to $5.83B in 2019 from an estimated $6.97B today.
    • He estimates Comcast (CMCSA +1.9%) CPE spending will drop to $1.6B in 2019, from $3.7B this year.
    | Dec. 4, 2015, 7:10 PM
  • Nov. 12, 2015, 3:23 PM
    | Nov. 12, 2015, 3:23 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 3, 2015, 5:32 PM
    • Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC) is off 0.7% after hours following Q3 results that showed revenues that missed expectations and consolidated operating income that fell 27.5%.
    • Income was affected by $33.8M in unfavorable items tied to a reserve for a class action settlement and an inventory valuation adjustment; excluding that, revenues would have fallen 0.6% and operating income would have declined 14.1%.
    • Revenue by segment: Cable, $1.45B (down 0.8%); Lightpath, $91.2M (up 3.8%); other, $83.6M (down 5.6%).
    • Cable total customers (number of households/businesses) came to 3.11M (down 0.7%); video customers were 2.6M (down 4.1%); high-speed data customers were 2.78M (up 1%); voice customers of 2.19M (down 2.3%).
    • Shares closed today at $32.44 -- vs. Altice's acquisition price of $34.90/share. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2016.
    • Cablevision is discontinuing conference calls and suspending stock repurchases due to the pending acquisition, and doesn't anticipate declaring or paying any dividends.
    | Nov. 3, 2015, 5:32 PM
  • Nov. 3, 2015, 4:36 PM
    • Cablevision Systems (NYSE:CVC): Q3 EPS of $0.08 may not be comparable to consensus of $0.23.
    • Revenue of $1.61B (-1.2% Y/Y) misses by $30M.
    | Nov. 3, 2015, 4:36 PM
  • Nov. 2, 2015, 5:35 PM
  • Oct. 27, 2015, 11:28 AM
    • Exercising an option, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and BC Partners with co-investors have committed to buy a 30% stake in Cablevision (CVC +0.8%) for about $1B -- adding the final piece to Altice's (OTCPK:ATCEY) financing for its $17.7B Cablevision takeover, Altice says.
    • The two entities will each fund 12% of the Cablevision acquisition, with the balance provided by co-investors. Altice had previously planned a $6.3B debt offering and a $1.8B new-share offering while Cablevision marketed a $2.3B acquisition loan.
    • The new deal is connected to Altice's $9.1B takeover of Suddenlink, in which CPPIB and BC Partners sold a 70% stake to Altice.
    • The CPPIB and BC Partners Cablevision transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2016.
    | Oct. 27, 2015, 11:28 AM
  • Oct. 26, 2015, 12:24 PM
    • Saying he's "concerned," New York's attorney general is asking three Internet providers to prove that customers are getting the access speeds they were promised, especially on the higher end.
    • Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) have each gotten a request from AG Eric Schneiderman to provide some extensive details, on total broadband customers since 2011 and their service levels as well as customer complaints and copies of their interconnection deals.
    • "New Yorkers deserve the Internet speeds they pay for. But, it turns out, many of us may be paying for one thing, and getting another," the statement from Schneiderman's office says. The three companies each expressed confidence that they were providing speed as promised.
    • The interconnection deals may be key to the probe, as past studies have shown that service tended to suffer where providers connected with longer-haul carriers.
    | Oct. 26, 2015, 12:24 PM | 5 Comments
  • Oct. 20, 2015, 11:27 PM
    • Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO (NYSE:TWX), had talked nicely in the spring about whether the launch of stand-alone service HBO Now would antagonize the network's longtime cable partners: "We see this as an expansion of the pie, not cannibalistic at all of our current business."
    • Now he's speaking a little more directly: “If you’re Brian [Roberts, CEO of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)] and you have 6M broadband subs, why would you not bundle HBO and share that revenue with us? Why would you give up that real estate and not be paid for it? I don’t understand it," Plepler said tonight in a keynote in Laguna Beach, Calif.
    • Comcast, along with to-be-merged Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), don't offer HBO Now. Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) do.
    • In comments reported by Variety, Plepler went after distributors who were leaving money on the table: “Some of our partners are not as skilled at that, and I think that’s myopic on their part,” he said.
    • Previously: HBO CEO: Direct streaming a play for millennials (Mar. 31 2015)
    • Previously: HBO-Apple deal a year in the making; cable partners still a challenge (Mar. 09 2015)
    | Oct. 20, 2015, 11:27 PM | 4 Comments
  • Oct. 16, 2015, 5:31 PM
    • Cablevision (CVC -0.3%) and Viacom (VIA +0.9%, VIAB +1%) say that they have resolved their legal fight, and are "entering into mutually beneficial business arrangements."
    • The move means Cablevision is dropping a lawsuit it filed a couple of years ago over bundling and carriage. Cablevision accused Viacom of charging exorbitant fees if it didn't carry 14 less popular channels, like Logo and Palladia, along with its flagship networks (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET).
    • Viacom's ratings have been flagging this past year at a time when big providers are facing "skinny bundling" challenges with many consumers selecting smaller channel lineups.
    | Oct. 16, 2015, 5:31 PM
  • Oct. 14, 2015, 11:49 AM
    • French media giant Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) -- in the middle of a $17.7B pursuit of Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) -- should be trading about half of where it is today, ION Asset Management says in making its short case.
    • The company is overpaying for its acquisitions, said Stephen Levey and Jonathan Half at the Sohn Investment Conference in Tel Aviv, and they're doubtful about Altice's targets for margins and cost-cutting.
    • Altice's Patrick Drahi has suggested heavy cuts are on the way for Cablevision, to the tune of $900M annually.
    • The company is also in Israel via its ownership of cable operator HOT.
    • Shares closed down 0.2% at Euronext Amsterdam.
    • Previously: Next for an Altice-controlled Cablevision: Heavy cost cuts (Sep. 18 2015)
    | Oct. 14, 2015, 11:49 AM | 1 Comment
Company Description
Cablevision Systems Corp, through its subsidiary, CSC Holdings is a cable operator in the United States and operates through the segments: Cable, Lightpath, and Other.
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States