Dolan Commits $400M for Voom

Mar 30, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Cablevision Systems Chairman Charles Dolan has provided a slightly clearer picture of how he will finance his struggling satellite service Voom, indicating in a filing that he might tap his holdings in Cablevision to keep the satellite operation running.

In a filing submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, Mr. Dolan said Voom is in the process of obtaining $400 million in financial commitments from its controlling shareholders — including Mr. Dolan and his son Tom — to keep the service running.

In the same filing, Charles Dolan also protested the planned sale of Voom’s lone satellite to EchoStar Communications, arguing that the sale of the satellite stifles competition. Cablevision in February struck an agreement to sell to EchoStar the satellite for $200 million. EchoStar officials have maintained they want to move forward with the sale, even as Charles Dolan tries to block the deal in an effort to save Voom.

The filing with the FCC is the latest move in an ongoing battle among Cablevision executives over the fate of Voom. Charles Dolan has until Thursday to come up with a financing plan for the satellite service or Cablevision has the right to shut it down.

Analysts generally see the latest news as a positive for Cablevision because it appears to illustrate Charles Dolan’s willingness to sell his stake in Cablevision in order to fund Voom. That has led many to believe that Mr. Dolan might be more inclined to sell Cablevision’s cable assets.