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Future Of Voom Up In The Air

3/01/2005 10:05:00 AM Eastern

Bethpage, N.Y. — Cablevision Systems, the current owner of the troubled Voom high-definition-centric satellite TV service, and Charles Dolan, the Cablevision chairman trying to buy the remaining assets of the business, issued conflicting announcements concerning Voom’s future.

At the end of the day, Feb. 28, Cablevision issued a statement saying that it had ended discussions with Voom HD, LLC, the company set up by Dolan and his son Tom to acquire the satellite service, without reaching a definitive agreement for the acquisition of the remaining assets of Rainbow DBS, the Cablevision unit that runs Voom.

“The previously announced letter of intent between Cablevision and Voom HD to pursue such a transaction expired today,” Cablevision said. “As a result, Cablevision will close down the Voom business.”

However, hours later Charles Dolan’s Voom HD issued a statement saying it “is prepared to finance the continued expansion of the Voom satellite service.”

The company said it has advised Cablevision that it continues to be interested in completing a transaction on the terms and conditions of the letter of intent into which the two companies entered several weeks ago.

“We are more than ever convinced of the viability of the Voom service,” said Tom Dolan in a prepared statement. “We believe our offer to Cablevision is in the best interests of Cablevision’s shareholders and Voom’s 46,000 subscribers across the nation. If we are able to complete negotiations with Cablevision, we are certain that Voom HD will emerge as a robust new vendor providing a valuable alternative to the two services that now dominate the satellite industry.”

Despite, Dolan’s release, a company spokesperson said Cablevision’s earlier statement on the closing of Voom was its “final statement,” on the matter.

Cablevision said that Voom service would continue to be provided to current satellite television customers during a transition period of at least 30 days.

“The company will seek to make the transition as smooth as possible for customers and will communicate directly with customers regarding those plans,” Cablevision said.

The company also said that it will encourage employees whose jobs would be affected by the closing of the Voom service to pursue employment opportunities elsewhere at Cablevision."