CABLEVISION VOOM: Fee for dish service to begin

silversurfer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
1,147
1
Las Vegas, Nevada
BY HARRY BERKOWITZ
STAFF WRITER

March 18, 2004


Five months after launching a nationwide satellite TV service, Cablevision Systems Corp. is about to take the training wheels off Voom.

But doubts remain about the service, which stresses high-definition programming.

Voom, which extended a free-trial program by two months as it battled technical problems and programming gaps, will begin charging its original customers a monthly subscriber fee April 1.

In another change, instead of charging a hefty $749 for the required equipment, as it did originally, Voom has begun offering a satellite dish and set-top box for $9.50 per month.

And next month, Cablevision plans to file regulatory documents to spin off Voom, along with three of the company's Rainbow Media cable channels including AMC, as a separate company with its own stock.

But Voom, which ran behind in making deals to carry such key channels as CNN, CNBC, HBO and Bravo, is still missing some of the most popular ones.

Those include ESPN, Fox News, USA, Lifetime, Sci-Fi, Food Network and Home & Garden TV.

"The major holes that were missing from our lineup have been filled with the exception of ESPN," said William Casamo, executive vice president at Voom. "We are in discussions with ESPN and we hope to have it on shortly."

The incubation period has not been easy or cheap.

By the end of last month, Voom signed up only 1,627 customers. Its satellite competitors, DirecTV and EchoStar Communications, have a combined total of more than 21 million subscribers and each adds more than 300,000 per quarter.

"Bringing down the up-front cost to essentially zero on the equipment fee has addressed the number one concern that people had," Casamo said.

Voom, which charges subscribers $40 or $80 per month for basic lineups, depending on the number of regular and high-definition channels, also ran into problems with the operation of its satellite receivers and installation of over-the-air antennas on homes, which receive the high-definition signals of local stations.

Casamo said Voom has made "major improvements in the stability" of the set-top boxes by zapping down software fixes from the Voom satellite and installers are getting better at putting up the digital antennas.

Voom also has stepped up advertising, including two spots in the Academy Awards show.

Without any subscriber revenue, Voom, which has been creating its own high-definition channels and a national news network with five regional bureaus in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Dallas to set itself apart, chalked up an operating loss of $55 million in the fourth quarter of last year. It has a total of 35 HD channels.

This year, Voom, based in Jericho, expects $399 million in investment costs and operating losses, according to Cablevision's annual financial filing.

For the entire article click here
 

rang1995

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
904
0
Bergen co NJ
They (VOOM) seem to know what's needed..lets hope they act on it. This will all come in stages but i think they have made strides..
 

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Sep 7, 2003
100,200
18,788
Newington, CT
VOOM got off to a bumpy start however its looking much better now. Still a few bumps but it was something I felt was good enough for me to have. And I now do not regret it one bit. :)

I be VOOMING...

(Now if they would change the Video on 999, since all those offers expires Feb 29th) :D
 

rang1995

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
904
0
Bergen co NJ
I agree on both counts. as for ch 999 i can understand having a info ch.but since it's repeated on all the voom only ch's and even on 1 OTA slot..they can use it for an extra HD slot untill mpeg-4
 

ComcastOgre

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 31, 2004
608
17
Saint Marys, Ohio
I still can't believe they think ESPN is the ONLY major hole in the programming line-up. LOL. HGTV and Food Network are VERY popular, and I wouldn't switch until Fox News is on.
 

DarrellP

I Think, therefore, I am.
Supporting Founder
Nov 6, 2003
4,298
0
Salem, OR
Those include ESPN, Fox News, USA, Lifetime, Sci-Fi, Food Network and Home & Garden TV. "The major holes that were missing from our lineup have been filled with the exception of ESPN," said William Casamo
???? So where's Sci-Fi?
 

pmb1010

SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 10, 2003
122
0
>By the end of last month, Voom signed up only 1,627 customers.

>Voom charges subscribers $40 or $80 per month

>an operating loss of $55 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

With numbers like these, I don't know how Voom will stay viable.
They are going to need 100x the current customer base to break even...
 

klen

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Jan 13, 2004
231
0
pmb1010 said:
>By the end of last month, Voom signed up only 1,627 customers.

>Voom charges subscribers $40 or $80 per month

>an operating loss of $55 million in the fourth quarter of last year.

With numbers like these, I don't know how Voom will stay viable.
They are going to need 100x the current customer base to break even...

I am not sure if that number is accurate, and a lot has changed in the last few weeks.

I just spoke with our local installer today, and they said they are now doing around 30 VOOM installs PER DAY. And that is just one market. He said it is going crazy.
 

pmb1010

SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 10, 2003
122
0
klen said:
I am not sure if that number is accurate, and a lot has changed in the last few weeks.

I just spoke with our local installer today, and they said they are now doing around 30 VOOM installs PER DAY. And that is just one market. He said it is going crazy.

Yeah, I kinda thought the install base number provided in that report was low.
It still needs to pick up in a hurry though.

I'm still holding out for DVR and the "whole house distribution" of TV signals.
If that comes to play, I'm all over it...

PMB
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
0
=pmb1010
With numbers like these, I don't know how Voom will stay viable.
They are going to need 100x the current customer base to break even...

At the end of the article there are predictions from both sides of the camp:

"I don't see how this has a remote chance of succeeding," said Bob Scherman, publisher of Satellite Business News. Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Bilotti, however, predicts Voom could attract about 1.2 million subscribers by 2006.
 

The Stone Man

Centennial, Colorado
Supporting Founder
Feb 15, 2004
872
0
Centennial, Colorado
From the Voom website--my package summary:

Services included in the package
FREVOOM Active
FREPREM Active

Additional services
General PPV Authorization Active
Adult PPV Authorization Active


Today is March 20th, and all indications point to billing starting April 1 (we all know what day that is). Haven't heard a word about a conversion from the free packages. I would have thought that Voom would want to know what packages I would select when we have to start paying??
 

Cliff

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 15, 2003
132
0
Wyman, Kentucky, United States
I think they need to advertise more, I didn't know they even existed until I did a search for high definition satellite services on the net. One of the satellite dealers I buy from had never heard of them also.
 

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