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Voom is near doom 1,627 customers total!!! financial report released sad



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 3rd 04, 01:22 AM
Dan the fan
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Default Voom is near doom 1,627 customers total!!! financial report released sad

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Cablevision Posts Loss on Satellite Startup
1,627 customers thats it that is all they got right now
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By Harry Berkowitz
Staff Writer

March 2, 2004, 4:25 PM EST


Hampered by technical problems and programming gaps, the Voom
satellite-television service that Cablevision Systems Corp. launched nationally
in October has signed up only 1,627 customers and contributed to a $197 million
net loss for the fourth quarter, the company said Tuesday.

As part of an accounting probe, Cablevision also announced a new round of
possible financial restatements because of mistakes dating back to 1999 --
ranging from improperly recorded marketing payments from programmers to
incorrectly stated stock market profits.

The 2003 quarterly loss, which also reflected the resumption of long-suspended
management bonuses at Cablevision and continuing financial woes at the Madison
Square Garden division, was in contrast to a profit of $530 million in the
period a year earlier, when the company benefited from its sale of the Bravo
cable channel to NBC.

And the slow start for the satellite service was in contrast to a fast kickoff
for the $34.95-per-month residential telephone service Cablevision launched in
September using Internet technology. Optimum Voice signed up nearly 29,000
customers by the end of the year and was adding 2,500 customers per week.

Both Voom and Optimum Voice are ambitious new ventures for Cablevision but are
expected to take very different paths.

Cablevision plans to file regulatory documents in April to spin off Voom, along
with AMC and two other cable TV networks, as a separate company with its own
stock and Cablevision founder Charles Dolan as chairman. But first it must wait
for the Securities and Exchange Commission to complete an investigation into
improper accounting at the channels. But analysts say prospects are dim for
Voom, which is trying to compete with DirecTV and the Dish Network from
EchoStar Communications.

Voom, which was planning to charge subscribers $749 for installation and
equipment and $39.90 per month for a basic package of channels including 39 in
high-definition, is testing various "pricing alternatives" and beginning a
"measured increase" in marketing, including TV commercials, as it adds more
programming and improves technical performance, the company said. Voom posted
an operating loss of $55 million in the fourth quarter. Among the new options
are for customers to lease rather than buy the set-top box.

The company said Wilmer Cutler Pickering, the law firm hired by the board of
directors to head the accounting probe that led to the firing of 14 employees
last June, expects to complete its investigation – including recommended
accounting improvements -- in time for Cablevision to file its annual 10K
financial report by March 15.

Cablevision said KPMG expects to complete its audit of the figures.

In addition to previous restatements of financial results related to the probe,
Cablevision said it has corrected mistakes that overstated operating income by
$18.6 million in 2001, $4.1 million in 2002 and $7.6 million for the first nine
months of 2003, and understated it by $5.4 million in 2000.

For the fourth quarter of 2003, Cablevision posted an operating loss of $46
million, compared with operating income of $71 million a year earlier, while
revenue rose 12 percent to $1.2 billion, helped by a 20-percent jump during the
quarter in digital iO customers to 905,495 and a 7 percent gain in Optimum
Online high-speed Internet customers to 1.06 million. Overall cable customers,
however, slipped in the quarter by 11,400 to 2.94 million, down 19,600 for the
full year, largely because an upgrade of cable systems in Brooklyn and the
Bronx fell five months behind schedule. Cablevision said it expects the number
of subscribers to rise a half-percent this year, revenue to gain between 12 and
14 percent and adjusted operating cash flow to increase between 13 and 15
percent.

At Madison Square Garden, which includes the struggling New York Knicks and
Rangers and which laid off 80 employees last month, operating income plunged 43
percent to $11.4 million in the quarter, reflecting higher team player costs,
the National Basketball Association "luxury tax" for high payrolls, and higher
development costs for shows such as the Radio City Christmas Specatacular,
which had a strong season.

Cablevision shares closed down 91 cents, or 3.5 percent, at $25.33, in New York
Stock Exchange trading Tuesday.
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc. | Article

End higher ticket prices! Go to local college games!
  #2  
Old March 3rd 04, 01:56 AM
external usenet poster
 
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Default

Perhaps if VOOM were to launch another satellite so that those of us who
live on the west coast could see it,they might have more subs.It is too
low on the horizon for me to get a decent look angle,and I suppose it is
to a lot of others too.The fortunate few on the west coast who can
receive it are probably on a high hill or outcropping where there are no
trees or buildings to block the reception.As a primarily east coast
concern,I am not surprised at those numbers.

  #3  
Old March 3rd 04, 05:02 AM
Curmudgeon
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Default

It wouldn't be in any better shape with the west coast... Its numbers prove
it can't attract enough viewers to support one satellite...how the hell
would it support two?!?!?! Economics 101.
Voom will be a memory before you start putting 2005 on your checks.


wrote in message
...
Perhaps if VOOM were to launch another satellite so that those of us who
live on the west coast could see it,they might have more subs.It is too
low on the horizon for me to get a decent look angle,and I suppose it is
to a lot of others too.The fortunate few on the west coast who can
receive it are probably on a high hill or outcropping where there are no
trees or buildings to block the reception.As a primarily east coast
concern,I am not surprised at those numbers.



  #4  
Old March 3rd 04, 12:47 PM
Chet Hayes
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Default

I predicted Voom would get nowhere months ago. Their service doesn't
offer many of the std channels that people expect. Channels like
MSNBC, FOX, CNBC, etc. So, while Direct and Dish are expanding their
offerings to include HD, Voom has two main markets. Existing
customers of cable or sat willing to give up lots of existing channels
to get more HD of uncertain content or those that are willing to pay
for two seperate and expensive services. And with an entry price of
$750, that won't be many.
  #5  
Old March 4th 04, 12:01 AM
Randy Sweeney
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Default


"Chet Hayes" wrote in message
om...
I predicted Voom would get nowhere months ago. Their service doesn't
offer many of the std channels that people expect. Channels like
MSNBC, FOX, CNBC, etc. So, while Direct and Dish are expanding their
offerings to include HD, Voom has two main markets. Existing
customers of cable or sat willing to give up lots of existing channels
to get more HD of uncertain content or those that are willing to pay
for two seperate and expensive services. And with an entry price of
$750, that won't be many.


The days of someone plunking down big bux up front for specialized
single-purpose hardware is long gone.

Direct is GIVING AWAY three room sets.. with free installation.
That's the way to do it.


  #6  
Old March 4th 04, 02:44 PM
Scott C
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Default

OK, we defined the problems at VOOM, now, if you were the CEO what would you
do?

- Give away 3 months of free service to anyone who wants it?
- Reduce the entry price to Free
- Do the above with another launch?

I believe any situation is a recoverable one, wonder what VOOM will do?

sc


"Randy Sweeney" wrote in message
...

"Chet Hayes" wrote in message
om...
I predicted Voom would get nowhere months ago. Their service doesn't
offer many of the std channels that people expect. Channels like
MSNBC, FOX, CNBC, etc. So, while Direct and Dish are expanding their
offerings to include HD, Voom has two main markets. Existing
customers of cable or sat willing to give up lots of existing channels
to get more HD of uncertain content or those that are willing to pay
for two seperate and expensive services. And with an entry price of
$750, that won't be many.


The days of someone plunking down big bux up front for specialized
single-purpose hardware is long gone.

Direct is GIVING AWAY three room sets.. with free installation.
That's the way to do it.




  #7  
Old March 4th 04, 03:58 PM
Jeff B
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Posts: n/a
Default



Direct is GIVING AWAY three room sets.. with free installation.
That's the way to do it.


yeah, if you like ugly low definition.

Jeff B




  #8  
Old March 4th 04, 08:06 PM
Chet Hayes
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Scott C" wrote in message .com...
OK, we defined the problems at VOOM, now, if you were the CEO what would you
do?

- Give away 3 months of free service to anyone who wants it?
- Reduce the entry price to Free
- Do the above with another launch?

I believe any situation is a recoverable one, wonder what VOOM will do?

sc



First, if I were the CEO, this never would have happened. I believe
any reasonable use of market surveys, focus groups, etc would show
that the market potential of their offering is small. If you asked
cable or sat customers if they would give up many of the channels they
already have just to get more HD, the answer would have been no. The
vast majority of these customers will wait for more HD as it expands
on their existing service. So, who's left? The people who only have
OTA and want to jump to HD? Or the people who want to pay for
cable/sat plus Voom?

I think they have 3 options:

1 - Get a robust set of the existing SD channels, ie FOX News, CNBC,
MSNBC, and all the rest, to make their offering complete and then slug
it out with Dish and Direct, which ain't going to be easy

2 - Write the thing off now and sell the sat bandwidth to Direct/Dish
to use as incremental bandwidth for their HD expansion.

3 - Continue trying to lure customers by reducing prices even more,
incurring bigger losses and finally moving on to option 2.

What's your guess?







"Randy Sweeney" wrote in message
...

"Chet Hayes" wrote in message
om...
I predicted Voom would get nowhere months ago. Their service doesn't
offer many of the std channels that people expect. Channels like
MSNBC, FOX, CNBC, etc. So, while Direct and Dish are expanding their
offerings to include HD, Voom has two main markets. Existing
customers of cable or sat willing to give up lots of existing channels
to get more HD of uncertain content or those that are willing to pay
for two seperate and expensive services. And with an entry price of
$750, that won't be many.


The days of someone plunking down big bux up front for specialized
single-purpose hardware is long gone.

Direct is GIVING AWAY three room sets.. with free installation.
That's the way to do it.


  #9  
Old March 4th 04, 08:51 PM
JDeats
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If I were the VOOM CEO I'd realize my company was about to go under
and I would try to find new lines of credit to make the following
possible ASAP:

1. Find a way to offer ALL the local networks (PBS, UPN, WB, ABC,
CBS, NBC and FOX) though VOOM service (no cable provider is offering
all of them, so this would be an advantage an incentive to cable
customers... DirectTV and DiskNetwork customers will be the hardest to
pull as most are under contract and have invested in their hardware).

2. Offer the hardware for free up front (if this will be a huge loss,
make the customer comit to a six month contract, which would make them
more attractive than the typical 12-month contract required by most
sat providers).

This is the information age, customers aren't stupid, they look at
what VOOM is offering and see that their exclusive HD content is just
a bunch of movie channels that no one cares about and the customers
have to give up more than they would get with an OTA tuner, cable or
DirectTV.

Don't assume your customers are ignorant or that you are going to pull
a fast one, because you won't. and VOOM's failure is proof.




"Scott C" wrote in message .com...
OK, we defined the problems at VOOM, now, if you were the CEO what would you
do?

- Give away 3 months of free service to anyone who wants it?
- Reduce the entry price to Free
- Do the above with another launch?

I believe any situation is a recoverable one, wonder what VOOM will do?

sc


"Randy Sweeney" wrote in message
...

"Chet Hayes" wrote in message
om...
I predicted Voom would get nowhere months ago. Their service doesn't
offer many of the std channels that people expect. Channels like
MSNBC, FOX, CNBC, etc. So, while Direct and Dish are expanding their
offerings to include HD, Voom has two main markets. Existing
customers of cable or sat willing to give up lots of existing channels
to get more HD of uncertain content or those that are willing to pay
for two seperate and expensive services. And with an entry price of
$750, that won't be many.


The days of someone plunking down big bux up front for specialized
single-purpose hardware is long gone.

Direct is GIVING AWAY three room sets.. with free installation.
That's the way to do it.


  #10  
Old March 4th 04, 09:30 PM
Moe Curly & Larry
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Currently the offer is for full refund by April if not satisfied. Also, a
$300 credit given to early adopters and upgrade of some equipment is
underway.
--
Mo

"Scott C" wrote in message
news
OK, we defined the problems at VOOM, now, if you were the CEO what would
you
do?

- Give away 3 months of free service to anyone who wants it?
- Reduce the entry price to Free
- Do the above with another launch?

I believe any situation is a recoverable one, wonder what VOOM will do?

sc


"Randy Sweeney" wrote in message
...

"Chet Hayes" wrote in message
om...
I predicted Voom would get nowhere months ago. Their service doesn't
offer many of the std channels that people expect. Channels like
MSNBC, FOX, CNBC, etc. So, while Direct and Dish are expanding their
offerings to include HD, Voom has two main markets. Existing
customers of cable or sat willing to give up lots of existing channels
to get more HD of uncertain content or those that are willing to pay
for two seperate and expensive services. And with an entry price of
$750, that won't be many.


The days of someone plunking down big bux up front for specialized
single-purpose hardware is long gone.

Direct is GIVING AWAY three room sets.. with free installation.
That's the way to do it.







 




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