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VOOM HITS MIDNIGHT - WEBSITE: "Cease 4/30/05" - Page 3  

post #61 of 4636
So, assuming Charles Dolan "has the financing", per his own memo above...

Does he have the financing to pay a higher price? ;) And where in the world would he get that financing from, aside from a stock sale which apparently has not happened? Who's shoveling money into this thing? I'm actually curious.
post #62 of 4636
Have to wonder how much stock Dolan has. All insiders have 47.53 million shares. Thats worth $1.4 billion. The money is there. It just depends if he wants to spend his retirement nest egg on Voom.:-) For our sake, I hope he does.
post #63 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by vurbano
you are so wrong its not even funny. The letter of intent was to consider a deal. No one was "giving" anything to anyone. The items to buy are the Voom21, the uplink facilities, and the leases on AMC6.
Did CVC put a price tag on their VOOM21? Buying means someone pays a price for an asset, then come up with more money to continue the operations (liabilities). I thought CVC was simply giving Dolans a short time to come up with the financing needed to take over the operations, the Dolans did not have to pay any premium to acquire the assets.

If this is true then elder Dolan may not be as foolish as VOOMers wanted to believe and flush his retirement down the drain.
post #64 of 4636
Somebody is going to have to "bite the bullet" and assume the debt that Voom has amassed. The E* asset sale only goes so far, and because it's a Dolan involved, like fredfa said, the SEC isn't going to look too kindly on Dolan skimming off the cream. If it were anyone else bidding, they could probably walk away with the few remaining assets and the existing customers for a steal - just a higher bid than anyone else. But Dolan won't be allowed to just walk away and stick CV with the tab.
post #65 of 4636
Why are there people happy about this, just because they already spent all their money to maintain a DirecTV system? This was good for HD, and I was looking forward to them being my provider when I was going to go HD right before baseball season, from what I heard, great quality SD and HD. All the other providers make me compromise, and I don't think I should have to (Comcast: great HD, bad SD - D*: good SD, HD lite)
post #66 of 4636
Only a few on AVS (albeit, very vocal members) would actually be happy with the death of Voom. We may debate what impact a Voom failure has on HD as a whole, if any - but anyone with any sense realizes that a Voom success would be very good for all of us.
post #67 of 4636
Guys I wouldn't panic yet. I think something positive is going to happen. There are always last minute deals and compromises in almost every business deal that goes down. They set deadlines so that both parties can work up to that, but sometimes they need more time. I still feel good that in the next few days or weeks, something will come of this and Voom will be here to stay.
post #68 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by foxeng
E* has already bought Ranbow 1 and the uplink facility. The only thing left is the programming and the name and a lease for part of another satellite that was to be renamed Rainbow 2, but Voom LLC doesnt' own that bird.
Maybe I don't know much about business, but aren't you leaving out a huge thing?: an operating business. VOOM is not just content and customers and a satellite. It's an operating business, with employees, operations, an operational infrastructure, revenue, and expenses.

I don't know what that's worth, but it's something.
post #69 of 4636
Sadly, so far it has been worth about a negative $1.5 billion.
post #70 of 4636
You are ignoring its potential. No one expected VOOM to be profitable by now.
post #71 of 4636
"You are ignoring its potential."

OK, seriously, enough.

I have no problem with Voom and would hate to see it go.

But it is not to be construed as a business with potential. In the period where a surfeit of HD is still a competive advantage vs. the 3-4 incumbents in most markets, the company has failed to (a) sign up many subscribers and (b) retain them.

Over the next several years, those incumbents (1-2 cable cos., 2 satellite cos.) will be joined by a phone company in many markets. That makes Voom 1 of 5 or 6. And one with no competitive advantage, no owned satellite assets and no competitive advantage as HD gets added in large quantities by all the incumbents.

This is Dolan's Folly and I hope he gets to continue it because if nothing else, those of you that enjoy the service can continue to do so. But the "value" of this Black Hole of Cash with no assets other than some unique programming, a license to use a few frequencies on a satellite it doesn't own and can't afford to build or launch to a spot over the Atlantic, and <50,000 subscribers.

If it were cash-flow positive, the thing might be worth $250 million or so (~$4000 per sub and about $50M for the rest). As a massive money loser without assets, the thing has no value. Cablevision would pay someone to take it off its hands in a rational world -- if it didn't have the ability to shut it down basically for free.
post #72 of 4636
That's your opinion. So be it. A year ago the Cablevision board thought otherwise. There is still one very rich man who thinks otherwise.

I take no position on the matter.
post #73 of 4636
balazer:
I am not ignoring its potential.
I was just reacting with facts to your statement that "...I don't know what that's worth, but it's something."
That something is apparently the $200 million Echo Star is paying for some of its hard assets.
Hell, I have no wish to see VOOM fold. The more HD the merrier.
If someone other than the Dolans stepped forward with a substantial bid, I am sure CVC would sell VOOM in an instant.
But the dreams of some here that somehow CVC will just give the Dolans VOOM because it somehow would be cheaper than shutting it down ignores a powerful fact:
The stockholders of CVC have taken a hit of about $1.5 billion so far.
And if CVC gave the remaining assets to the two Dolans, there would be lawsuits filed within hours by shareholders charging that the Dolans knew VOOM would be expensive, and had just used CVC's money to get it off the ground.
Those suits would demand the money be repaid.
That "...very rich man..." would have real problems, it seems to me (and obviously, most of his hand-picked board) that the entire VOOM scenario was a mega scam that had been planned all along.
And there would seem, on the surface at least, to be a great case for lawyers charging the Dolans with stealing from the CVC treasury to enrich themselves personally.
I understand there are at least two litigators who have begun rounding up unhappy CVC stockholders to file suit if the remaining VOOM assets are just "given" to the Dolans.
The Board members personally, could take a gigantic personal financial hit should any of those suits go against CVC.
(And in the wake of the Rigas verdicts, do you think the Dolans, with the imperious way they have run CVC, MSG, the Rangers and the Knicks, would get a sympathetic jury in New York? And how long do you think NY Attorney General Elliott Spitzer would stay on the sidelines?)
Obviously, if the CVC Board of Directors could be persuaded that such suits wouldn't be filed (probably by the Dolans paying far more for VOOM than they themselves think it is worth) they would be delighted to unload it.
By the way "...a year ago (when) the Cablevision Board thought otherwise..." CVC had lost about $700 million fewer dollars, and Dolan Sr was assuring them it would turn the corner.
Sadly this is not just about a family turning on each other.
It is not just about a cable pioneer's HD dream.
It is much more complicated than that.

Given all of that, I still believe, by the way, that the Dolans will be able to come up with $500 million to $700 million, a figure which might be enough to persuade the Board the sell VOOM.
post #74 of 4636
Cablevision Ends Talks To Sell Voom to Charles Dolan

By PETER GRANT, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

March 1, 2005; Page B2: Cablevision Systems Corp. Chairman Charles Dolan failed in his last-ditch effort to save his pet satellite-television service, named Voom, by buying the service's assets from Cablevision himself.

Cablevision, the country's sixth largest cable operator, announced it had terminated talks with Mr. Dolan and would close Voom. The service, which had a loss of $661.4 million last year, had only 26,000 subscribers at the end of the third quarter. The subscribers will continue to receive service during a "transition period" of at least 30 days, the company said.

The announcement is likely to put selling pressure on Cablevision's stock today because the company's shares have been rising recently on speculation that Mr. Dolan might put the company on the block to raise enough money to keep Voom going. Cablevision was up 88 cents to $31.06 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The shutdown of Voom will draw the curtain on a boardroom and family drama that has pitted Mr. Dolan against his son, James Dolan, the chief executive of Cablevision, who in January sided with a majority of board members in voting to stop funding Voom and sell its only operational satellite to EchoStar Communications Corp. In the wake of that vote, Charles Dolan and another one of his sons, Tom Dolan, reached a tentative deal to buy Voom's other assets. They had until yesterday to close that deal and failed to do so.

One of the pioneers of the cable industry, Charles Dolan, 78 years old, believes satellite has become a more efficient way of distributing television than cable. He tried to distinguish Voom from other satellite companies by offering more high-definition channels.

The largest retailer to sell Voom, Sears, Roebuck & Co., continued to sell the service during this latest period of uncertainty. "As far as I know, service will continue and we're not communicating anything to the contrary [to customers]," said Lauren Jiles-Johnson, a Sears spokeswoman, before Cablevision's announcement. She couldn't be reached afterward.
post #75 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by SonyHD
Guys I wouldn't panic yet. I think something positive is going to happen. There are always last minute deals and compromises in almost every business deal that goes down. They set deadlines so that both parties can work up to that, but sometimes they need more time. I still feel good that in the next few days or weeks, something will come of this and Voom will be here to stay.
I certainly hope so. This whole saga is very sad to watch. Although interesting and entertaining, this soap opera needs to have closure. I will miss VOOM, a lot, if it goes down. Sure hope there's a chance that it can stay or be reborn in another form (would love to keep some of the exclusive channels operational (RAVE, Monster, MOOV, RUSH). There's got to be a service(s) or media company that can see the value of these unique offerings.

Keeping my hopes up here in San Francisco and sending a little love out to VOOM and a future unknown investor(s).
post #76 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by balazer
Maybe I don't know much about business, but aren't you leaving out a huge thing?: an operating business. VOOM is not just content and customers and a satellite. It's an operating business, with employees, operations, an operational infrastructure, revenue, and expenses.

I don't know what that's worth, but it's something.
It is hard to run a distribution business with no way to distribute the product. It looks to me that Voom is worth more in its individual pieces than one whole piece and CVC is trying to capitalize on that while the pieces are worth something.

I haven't heard anyone say, but does anyone know if the current receivers will work with the leased bird? Does that bird use the same frequency range and will it allow the codec that Voom is using (no I am not talking about MPEG4, but the RF transport layer that carries the MPEG4 signal, like in digital TV you have ATSC that carries the MPEG2 signal). Unless the dishes are multi-bird dishes, every Voom dish will have to be realigned for the new bird. That is more money unless Voom intents to have the customers pay for the realignment.

Voom may be an operational business, but it has few hard assets and an extremely unclear future (OK, maybe no future past 30 days) but since technically Voom is still a part of CVC and not the Dolans yet, if CVC says they are shutting it down and have started the transition to do so, that is pretty definite to me. The fact that CVC sold the main uplink facility and its bird tells me they intent to shut it down BEFORE the Dolans can get their hands on it. Looks like to me there is some real nasty blood in the Dolans family and some members may feel they were forced down this road and now, as the old saying goes, "revenge is a dish, best served cold." (pun intended) From my point of view, Voom is toast, operational business or not. (last one out of Voom, please turn out the lights.)
post #77 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by foxeng
It is hard to run a distribution business with no way to distribute the product. It looks to me that Voom is worth more in its individual pieces than one whole piece and CVC is trying to capitalize on that while the pieces are worth something.

I haven't heard anyone say, but does anyone know if the current receivers will work with AMC 16? Does that bird use the same frequency range and will it allow the codec that Voom is using (no I am not talking about MPEG4, but the RF transport layer that carries the MPEG4 signal, like in digital TV you have ATSC that carries the MPEG2 signal). Unless the dishes are multi-bird dishes, every Voom dish will have to be realigned for AMC 16. That is more money unless Voom intents to have the customer pay for the realignment.

Yes from all of the reports at Satguys the recievers will work, customers need a bigger dish though pointed at AMC6 and a new LNB. And its AMC6 not 16
post #78 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by vurbano
Yes from all of the reports at Satguys the recievers will work, customers need a bigger dish though and a new LNB. And its AMC6 not 16
Who is going to pay for the bigger dish? Voom? More money they don't have. Wow, this situation is worse than I thought. If there is a silver lining to this money pit is the fact that there are hardly any subscribers on it and the changeover cost could be kept down to something manageable. Of course the next question is, how many subs will Voom lose to loose of sight to AMC 6 due to trees and other objects. What a nightmare.
post #79 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by foxeng
. Of course the next question is, how many subs will Voom lose to loose of sight to AMC 6 due to trees and other objects. What a nightmare.
More than likely zero since the bird is at 72 which would make it higher in the horizon than 61.5 and make it easier for west coasters to see the sat.
post #80 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by zmeister
More than likely zero since the bird is at 72 which would make it higher in the horizon than 61.5 and make it easier for west coasters to see the sat.
While this is true, it is very possible that someone could have a clear shot to 61.5 and a tree at 75. Just ask those with D*'s 3 LNB dish how easy it is to have 101 and 119 clear and 110 blocked by a tree. It is more common than you might think.
post #81 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by foxeng
While this is true, it is very possible that someone could have a clear shot to 61.5 and a tree at 75. Just ask those with D*'s 3 LNB dish how easy it is to have 101 and 119 clear and 110 blocked by a tree. It is more common than you might think.
And its possible that someone may have a tree at 61.5 and 75 will allow for even more subs Rupert :D
post #82 of 4636
I had an issue with 119 on Directv but not 101. One tree makes a huge difference! A new dish with 46,000 subscribers and no cash. Oh boy, it just keeps getting worse. I really do think Voom is done.

This truely is a soap opera. Man, I hope Untold Stories covers this at some point. I would love to see reinactments of the stuff behind the scenes.
post #83 of 4636
I have a friend that is fairly well placed at CV and his take on this whole situation is that Chuck is hell bent on buying Voom and is 100% convinced it will succeed, in spite of all indications to the contrary, while Jim and other board members believe he is absolutely mad. Jim is making it as difficult as possible for the sale to go through in an attempt to save Chuck from himself, for the most part.

My friend said that Jim also believes that if Chuck does acquire Voom, he will do just about anything to make it work - including selling most or all of his stake in CV. This would basically mean selling to TW or CMCST most likely. Aside from obviously putting Jim out of a job, he is also concerned that in a semi-hostile takeover where another company could gain control over the board and force him out, there is a strong possibility that the new owners would sell off the Knicks and Rangers to the highest bidder - which is all Jim really cares about. He has zero involvement with the operations of the core cable and Rainbow Media business. If there is to be a sale, Jim wants it to be on his terms so that he can negotiate the NYR & NYK out of the deal so that he can continue to run them (into the ground).

Keep in mind, this is hearsay and speculation, so take it for what it is worth.
post #84 of 4636
Its a sad day to see Voom go. I have just this one question (phrased a few ways but essentially the same thing) and no bashing please. Chuck Dolan wants to save this. He honestly believes and that is great.

But what is going to be different if he owns the company outright? Will something magical happen that will go way beyond 46,000 subscribers? Where is the silver lining that will change the cash drain into a subscriber growth machine? Start ups are based on patronage at first. We all know it doesnt start out profitable but how is he going to increase subscribers under his 100% control?
post #85 of 4636
He'll need:
1) DVR
2) Sat that the West Coast can see well (or at least better)
3) Networks at least for NY, LA, O&O's and White Areas
4) Some unsuspecting cable company to stick the bulk of the start-up debt on. ;)
post #86 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by bgall
Hurray!
AMAZING... What were they taking money out of your pocket.. :mad:
post #87 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by CPanther95
4) Some unsuspecting cable company to stick the bulk of the start-up debt on. ;)
dingdingdingdingdingding.....we have a winner folks!

Also, I believe that he sees Rainbow21 as the hidden value. Look at Rainbow Media. This is worth what, $2B+? What is the value of HDNet, which is basically 2 channels and a limited amount of original programming?

Right now, the Rainbow21 are a liability since Voom is the sole carrier and right now there is not enough of an audience to sell advertising. *IF* (albeit a big IF) he can sustain the Voom business long enough to reach a critical mass of viewers for these channels and/or sell distribution rights to other providers - they can potentially become revenue generators, especially a few years down the road when enough of total US households are receiving HD signals to make it worthwhile for advertisers to produce and run ads in HD.

I believe that when this occurs, HD only channels will command a huge premium over SD channels, since this audience will tend to be much wealthier than the rest of the market - particularly early on.

When cable channels first caught on this was the case with them as well and, for the most part still is today, since the audiences are more niche and tend to be wealthier especially for channels such as History, Discovery, A&E, etc. These channels receive a much higher rate per household than network channels, though much less $$$ overall, since the audiences are much smaller.

I have no doubt that at some point in the not so distant future, HD only channels will be THE hottest outlet on TV for advertising. It is a matter of when there are enough viewers to matter and right now, we are not their yet. I think you will start to see a major shift once at least 15% of total households are able to receive an HD signal. Whether or not Voom/Rainbow21 can last this long, obviously remains to be seen. But if they can, I think the media side could be worth more than the Sat business at that point - unless of course they do more than tred water and actually acquire enough customers to be a real competitor to D* and E*.
post #88 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by ripit
I have no doubt that at some point in the not so distant future, HD only channels will be THE hottest outlet on TV for advertising.
IMHO, HD only channels, like HDNet will not be the 'hottest' outlets for TV advertising. The major national channels will continue to draw those dollars since they have the majority of the programming that folks want to see. To pick on HDNet, Hogan Hero's in HD or some NASCAR races that nobody else wanted to cover will bring in the big bucks. People want to watch programming like The Sheild or Stargate SG1, or Nextel Cup NASCAR races and the current crop of HD only channels don't have the $'s to get that programming. Yes, when folks first get their HD set's they'll watch anything that's in HD. But after a few weeks the novelity wares off and they watch the shows they want to watch be it in SD or HD.
post #89 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by ripit
I have a friend that is fairly well placed at CV and his take on this whole situation is that Chuck is hell bent on buying Voom and is 100% convinced it will succeed, in spite of all indications to the contrary, while Jim and other board members believe he is absolutely mad. Jim is making it as difficult as possible for the sale to go through in an attempt to save Chuck from himself, for the most part.

My friend said that Jim also believes that if Chuck does acquire Voom, he will do just about anything to make it work - including selling most or all of his stake in CV. This would basically mean selling to TW or CMCST most likely. Aside from obviously putting Jim out of a job, he is also concerned that in a semi-hostile takeover where another company could gain control over the board and force him out, there is a strong possibility that the new owners would sell off the Knicks and Rangers to the highest bidder - which is all Jim really cares about. He has zero involvement with the operations of the core cable and Rainbow Media business. If there is to be a sale, Jim wants it to be on his terms so that he can negotiate the NYR & NYK out of the deal so that he can continue to run them (into the ground).

Keep in mind, this is hearsay and speculation, so take it for what it is worth.
Yes and right into the ground that idiot has run them....
post #90 of 4636
Quote:
Originally posted by foxeng
While this is true, it is very possible that someone could have a clear shot to 61.5 and a tree at 75. Just ask those with D*'s 3 LNB dish how easy it is to have 101 and 119 clear and 110 blocked by a tree. It is more common than you might think.
Obviously MORE people would be able to see the new location than the old one. So, if we base future potential just on that, I'd expect an increase in subs from the switch.
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