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04-13-2005 03:06 PM #7Originally Posted by hbk409
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04-13-2005 03:10 PM #8Originally Posted by gutter
04-13-2005 03:25 PM #9Originally Posted by rtt2
04-13-2005 05:58 PM #10
GoDaddy.com... that's the SuperBowl ad with the girl in that had the wardrobe malfunction. I believe they have the full unedited version online too.
04-13-2005 09:18 PM #11Originally Posted by jbphoenix
04-14-2005 02:08 AM #12
BY HARRY BERKOWITZ
April 14, 2005
Even though the story of Voom seemed all but ended, a 43-page filing made public yesterday provides more evidence of how bizarre the battle over the satellite TV service has been between Cablevision and its chairman, Charles Dolan.
The joint filing with the Federal Communications Commission by Cablevision and satellite TV rival EchoStar Communications claims a consumer group that partnered with Dolan in trying to block the sale of Voom's sole satellite does not really exist. Also, a check of records indicates the president of the purported group -- the Association of Consumers to Preserve and Promote DBS (direct-broadcast satellite) Competition -- was tied to the former consulting firm of Voom's chief operating officer, Mickey Alpert.
Dolan and the association had told the FCC in a 53-page joint filing March 28 that Cablevision's deal to sell the satellite to EchoStar for $200 million would reduce competition and hurt consumers. Instead, they argued, Dolan should be able to buy the satellite to keep Voom alive.
Last week, the 15-member Cablevision board reconfirmed its decision to shut Voom rather than hand it over to Dolan, and this time the vote was unanimous, and included Dolan.
But that still left the requirement for Cablevision, which on March 29 disavowed Dolan's FCC filing, to elaborate on its argument that the filing should be ignored. Otherwise, Cablevision could face a lawsuit from EchoStar, which has called Dolan's filing perplexing.
Not only is Dolan's contention moot because of the Voom shutdown plan, Cablevision and EchoStar claim in their new filing, but "all available evidence strongly suggests that the association is a mere fiction, created by a single individual ... Jerome Sandler, for the sole purpose of filing the petition."
Sandler, 70, reached at his home in Rockville, Md., said, "What they say is not true," but he declined to comment on how many members the association had, or when it was formed and why.
A record in the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation identifies Sandler as having been the registered agent in the incorporation of Alpert & Associates. Sandler, a Voom subscriber since last May, declined to comment on that also, referring that matter to Alpert, who did not return a call.
The new filing by Cablevision and EchoStar also expands on the argument that EchoStar -- whose service Cablevision, the nation's sixth biggest cable operator, has mocked in advertisements -- should be strengthened to benefit consumers, especially in rural areas, which have been slower to gain access to high-definition television channels.
The unusual battle pitted Dolan against his chief executive son, James, a longtime opponent of Voom who signed the contract to sell the satellite.
According to the new filing, during the past six years Cablevision invested $1 billion in Jericho-based Voom, which stressed high-definition channels. But the service attracted only 40,000 customers, mainly in urban areas, and had less than $15 million in total revenue.
In contrast, EchoStar was gaining 40,000 customers every 10 days while Voom suffered "astoundingly high" customer dropout rates, suggesting a "low likelihood of viability," the filing states.
Dolan, who last month ousted three directors who had condoned the deal to sell the satellite, plans on Monday to drop three more, cutting the size of the board to 12, including nine who do not require approval by non-Dolan shareholders.
Cablevision spokesman Charles Schueler did not return a call seeking comment from the company or Dolan.
Newsday Article posted here
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