Head of VOOM Charles Dolan-a must read!! (1 Viewer)


Thread Starter
Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 30, 2003
Bergen co NJ
Profile of Charles Dolan

Today's mass media world is filled with flurries of conglomerate competition, megamergers, and takeovers. Industries that once regarded each other as competitors are teaming up. Behemoths such as Disney and ABC and Time Warner and Turner Network are combining their resources. Companies are also raising the stakes in high-speed technology: Internet connections, satellite transmissions, and wireless television operations.

One cable company, however, is still managing to go it alone:

Cablevision Systems Corp., based in Long Island, New York, the sixth- largest multisystem cable television company. Cablevision, which is twenty- three years old, is still run by its founder, Charles Dolan. Dolan was also founder of HBO (Home Box Office) and one of the earliest believers in cable sports programming and twenty-four-hour news channels. In addition, he professes to being one of the first few people who believed that cable was more than another way to receive broadcast programs in isolated areas. He has always believed in the unique and local content of cable broadcasting.

Dolan grew up in Cleveland, where he worked his way through high school at a radio station. Later, he and his wife, Helen, operated a small business from their apartment, putting together footage of sports events and selling fifteen-minute reels to television stations. In the early 1960s, he helped start a New York cable company that became Cablevision. After wiring some Manhattan hotels for news and visitor information, his company won the franchise for lower Manhattan. From there, Dolan concentrated on unique programming content.

Cablevision now has 2.8 million subscribers concentrated in nineteen states. The company is so large, an entire Internet site is devoted to the latest news and information about the company and its founder.

In 1995, Cablevision became half owner of Madison Square Garden, with rights to broadcast Knicks, Rangers, and Yankees games. Its programming entity, Rainbow Programming Holdings, Inc., includes American Movie Classics, Bravo, SportsChannel New York, News 12, and three new channels, MuchMusic --which offers a page of entirely new music--NewSport, and the Independent Film Channel. The company is expanding its operations to include local news channels'electronic neighborhoods' called Neighborhood Network and Extra Help. Cablevision's new fiber optic upgrades will give subscribers two hundred digital channels. It will also allow for high-speed Internet connections, interactive television, and an expansion of its telephone subsidiary, Cablevision Lightpath.

Charles Dolan is a man of firsts: he started Home Box Office as a nationwide pay-television service; Cablevision's News 12 was the nation's first local twenty-four-hour cable news operation; and Cablevision's Rainbow Advertising Sales was the first cable advertising sales division in the nation. At the end of 1994, Dolan was worth $715 million.

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
New York City
This is good information about Dolan. He has a history of investing big $$$. Some investment like the Wiz did not work but there has been a lot more that have worked. There are a lot who would say that VOOM is doomed but time will only tell and Dolan is known for big pockets into his investments.


Too many cables
Supporting Founder
Sep 25, 2003
Norman, OK
While I am extreamly skeptical of VOOM succeeding given their tiny sub numbers after 5 months, I wish they would succeed and become serious competition to Dish and DIRECTV. If they could lasso the 157 satellite slots up for auction and offer an expanded service from there, it would be great. Of course somehow getting Dish to sell them 61.5 would be great also.


Mar 4, 2004
I think their small numbers of subscribers is due to lack of exposure and public awareness. The oscar commercial helped a lot, I think, although they need to have better informed sears retailers (the one in rochester was completely clueless) who can upsell the product compared to DISH. Considering how many commercials I see for DirecTV on DISH, I couldn't guess to fathom how much of an investment advertising is going to be.

The lease option is a great thing- leasing to own would be even better.


Too Much Hi Def!
Supporting Founder
Mar 3, 2004
Vernon, CT
I can understand why at this point the lease to own option isn't so hot though. They have to know that when the PVR comes out, EVERYONE is going to want it. I see the current lease as a stopgap measure before the PVR. But hey, I could be wrong.



Pub Member / UConnaholic
Supporting Founder
Nov 23, 2003
Monroe, CT
Charles Dolan = great. A pioneer, and worthy of the praise above.

Chuck Dolan = a stooge. Would be pumping gas in Mineola somewhere if not for Daddy.


Mar 4, 2004
The dilemma is how much to charge for the DVR function above and beyond the lease for the normal STB. If the STB is already $10, then will the DVR by $15? $20? I can't imagine it being that high compared to cable and D* and E*. Is the lease price going to drop then for the normal STB?

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