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Cablevision no Indian giver

Wed, 11/08/2000 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

Any takers? Cablevision is not interested in buying back the 30 percent stake in itself that was sold to TCI and then inherited by AT&T when AT&T bought TCI two years ago.

Rumors surfaced this week that AT&T is trying to shave some of its $62 billion in debt and may be looking to sell its interests in Cablevision, as well as Time Warner Entertainment (25 percent) and its partnership in Road Runner.

Cablevision isn't biting. In fact, the MSO has been selling off more of its systems to generate capital to improve core systems.

"We've gone through this divestiture program in order to…focus our resources and capital on developing the New York area," said Cablevision Vice Chairman William Bell during an earnings meeting.

"We have never indicated that we plan on using any of those proceeds for stock buybacks," Bell said.

In other Cablevision news, the company will begin trials of a new digital-cable set-top in Long Island, N.Y. in December. Cablevision insists these set-tops are different.

"What we're deploying is not what is being deployed by other cable operators at this time," President James Dolan said.

Dolan said these set-tops are a technological leap ahead of its competitors' technology because they include real-time VOD, e-mail and interactive-advertising functions.

I have said it before: when it cleans the cat box, let me know.

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