Cablevision Systems Corporation is an American cable television company. It is the 5th largest cable provider in the USA, with most customers residing in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and parts of Pennsylvania. Cablevision also offers high-speed Internet connections (Optimum Online), as well as digital cable (iO), and VoIP phone service (Optimum Voice) through its Optimum brand name.
The Madison Square Garden, L.P.
subsidiary controls the Madison Square Garden
arena in New York City
, and the professional sports teams that play there—the New York Knicks
, New York Rangers
, and New York Liberty
. The same company also owns the Hartford Wolf Pack
, a minor-league professional hockey
team affiliated with the Rangers, and operates (but does not own) one Connecticut
sports venue: Rentschler Field
, the football home for the Connecticut Huskies
Cablevision's sports holdings also include TV rights for the Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Red Bull New York. These games are aired on their MSG Network and MSG Plus (formerly FSN New York) cable channels. Cablevision previously had the rights to the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New York Mets, who left to start their own channels. Cablevision previously attempted to purchase the Yankees, Mets and Boston Red Sox, in part, to control their broadcast rights.
Other Cablevision properties
Other properties that are owned by Cablevision, through its Madison Square Garden, L.P. division, include the Beacon Theater
and Clearview Cinemas. They have a long-term lease to operate Radio City Music Hall. Cablevision does own Radio City Entertainment, the company that operates the Rockettes.
The company owns a satellite television company called Voom, which shut down on April 30, 2005, but lives on as a series of High-definition television channels available on Cablevision and iO digital cable as of July 2007 and internationally. The company boasts of having the most HD channels than of any service. Other services (cable, satellite, and telcos) are rapidly increasing their channel selections and also making claims of superiority. DirecTV planned to offer over 100 HD Channels by the end of 2007. The company is based in Bethpage, New York on Long Island and is headed by the Dolan family, who reside on Long Island.
On April 30, 2007, Cablevision announced that its control of FSN Bay Area and FSN New England is being bought by Comcast for $570 million.
On May 12th, 2008, Newsday reported that it would be purchased by Cablevision in a deal worth $650m. The sale was completed on July 29, 2008.
Cablevision's role in the West Side Stadium debate
, Cablevision provided funding for an advertising campaign against the proposed construction of a stadium
on the West Side of Manhattan
supported by the Mayor
of New York City
, Michael Bloomberg
. The stadium would have principally served the New York Jets
, and was an essential part of New York City's failed bid for the 2012 Olympics
. Cablevision had offered a competitive bid that far exceeded the bid of the Jets for property owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
, where the new stadium would have been located. The plans to build the stadium were abandoned in June 2005
when the New York State Assembly
under the leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver
refused to provide state subsidies for the project.
Products and services
Cablevision did not carry most of the games of the New York Yankees in 2002, because they would not accept the price asked by YES Network
. A deal was made the following year.
Cablevision has also never carried the NFL Network
, as the company has stated that it would like to be able to carry NFL Sunday Ticket
(which is, by contract, exclusive to DirecTV
until the 2011 season) before it carries NFL Network. This has been criticized by New Jersey legislators.
Cablevision, as a content provider, also engaged in a dispute with Verizon over the carriage of MSG Network and Fox Sports Net New York on its FiOS television systems. Verizon sued Cablevision, claiming that the latter company did not want to make their valuable local sports coverage available to an emerging competitor to their cable systems. An agreement was reached in November 2006 allowing FiOS to carry these channels.
Current members of the board of directors
of Cablevision are: Charles Dolan
, James Dolan
, Patrick Dolan, Rand Araskog
, Frank Biondi
, Charles Ferris
, Richard Hochman
, Victor Oristano
, Thomas Reifenheiser
, John R. Ryan
, Brian Sweeney
, Vincent Tese
, Leonard Tow
In 2006, the Dolan family announced a plan to purchase the company and privatize it, after a failed attempt in 2005, which would have spun off Rainbow Media as a publicly traded company.
On May 2, 2007, after repeated attempts, the Dolan family announced that a deal worth $10.6 billion had been reached for Cablevision to be taken private, but agreement was not reached with other shareholders. Cablevision stock trades under the ticker symbol CVC on the New York Stock Exchange.
Competition on Long Island
For many years, Cablevision has been the sole cable provider for the people of Long Island, though it was unofficial, but recently, the new Verizon FiOS
service has been going around Long Island and other places, starting franchise agreements
with local villages and towns. This could begin to pose a threat on Cablevision's part, since Cablevision has fewer channels than FiOS, as well as other service providers such as Time Warner Cable
, and they have been criticised for their frugality on Long Island. As a result, Cablevision has released a set of commercials showcasing the Rainbow Media Holdings
channels that FiOS does not carry, such as News 12 Networks
, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD.