Annual Reports

  • 10-K (Feb 26, 2014)
  • 10-K (Feb 28, 2013)
  • 10-K (Mar 18, 2011)
  • 10-K (Feb 16, 2011)
  • 10-K (Feb 25, 2010)
  • 10-K (Feb 26, 2009)

 
Quarterly Reports

 
8-K

 
Other

Cablevision Systems 10-K 2010

Table of Contents

 

 

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C.  20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

x

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009

 

OR

 

o

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 [NO FEE REQUIRED]

 

For the transition period from                  to                 

 

Commission File
Number

 

Registrant; State of Incorporation;
Address and Telephone Number

 

IRS Employer
Identification No.

 

 

 

 

 

1-14764

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

11-3415180

 

 

Delaware

1111 Stewart Avenue

Bethpage, NY 11714

(516) 803-2300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1-9046

 

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

27-0726696

 

 

Delaware

1111 Stewart Avenue

Bethpage, NY 11714

(516) 803-2300

 

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class:

Name of each Exchange on which Registered:

 

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

CSC Holdings, LLC

None

 

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

 

 

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

None

CSC Holdings, LLC

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrants are well-known seasoned issuers, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Yes x

 

No o

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

Yes o

 

No x

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrants are not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Yes o

 

No x

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

Yes o

 

No x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrants (1) have filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrants were required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Yes x

 

No o

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

Yes x

 

No o

 

Indicate by a check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrants’ knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

o

 

 

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

o

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit and post such files).

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Yes x

 

No o

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

Yes x

 

No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether each Registrant is a large accelerated filer, accelerated filer, non-accelerated filer or smaller reporting company.  See definition of large accelerated filer and accelerated filer in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2.

 

 

 

Large accelerated
filer

 

Accelerated
filer

 

Non-accelerated
filer

 

Smaller reporting
company

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Yes x

 

No o

 

Yes o

 

No o

 

Yes o

 

No o

 

Yes o

 

No o

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

Yes o

 

No o

 

Yes o

 

No o

 

Yes x

 

No o

 

Yes o

 

No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrants are shell companies (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Yes o

 

No x

CSC Holdings, LLC

 

Yes o

 

No x

 

Aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of Cablevision Systems Corporation computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold on the New York Stock Exchange as of June 30, 2009:  $4,593,221,764

 

Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of February 19, 2010:

 

Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock-

247,653,989

Cablevision NY Group Class B Common Stock-

54,354,251

CSC Holdings, LLC Interests of Member-

14,432,750

 

CSC Holdings, LLC meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing this Form with the reduced disclosure format applicable to CSC Holdings, LLC.

 

Documents incorporated by reference - Cablevision Systems Corporation intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, not later than 120 days after the close of its fiscal year, a definitive proxy statement or an amendment to this report containing the information required to be disclosed under Part II, Item 5 and Part III of Form 10-K filed under cover of Form 10-K/A.

 

 

 



Table of Contents

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

Part I

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Business

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1A.

Risk Factors

 

25

 

 

 

 

 

 

1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Properties

 

35

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Legal Proceedings

 

36

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

38

 

 

 

 

 

Part II

 

 

 

 

 

5.

Market for the Registrants’ Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

38

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

Selected Financial Data

 

42

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

47

 

 

 

 

 

 

7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

109

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

111

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

111

 

 

 

 

 

 

9A.

Controls and Procedures

 

111

 

 

 

 

 

Part III

 

 

 

 

 

10.

Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrants

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.

Executive Compensation

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholders Matters

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

Part IV

 

 

 

 

 

15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

113

 


*                 Some or all of these items are omitted because Cablevision intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, not later than 120 days after the close of its fiscal year, a definitive proxy statement or an amendment to this report containing the information required to be disclosed under Part II, Item 5 and Part III of Form 10-K filed under cover of Form 10-K/A.

 



Table of Contents

 

PART I

 

Item 1.                    Business

 

This combined Annual Report on Form 10-K is separately filed by Cablevision Systems Corporation (“Cablevision”) and CSC Holdings, LLC (formerly CSC Holdings, Inc.) (“CSC Holdings” and collectively with Cablevision, the “Company” or the “Registrants”).

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

Cablevision is a Delaware corporation which was organized in 1997.  Cablevision owns all of the outstanding membership interests in CSC Holdings and its liabilities include approximately $1.9 billion of senior notes which amount does not include approximately $682 million of its 8% senior notes contributed in July 2008 to CSC Holdings, which CSC Holdings contributed to Newsday Holdings LLC, its 97.2% owned subsidiary.  The $682 million of notes are eliminated in Cablevision’s consolidated financial statements and are shown as notes due from Cablevision in the consolidated deficiency of CSC Holdings.  Cablevision has no operations independent of its CSC Holdings subsidiary.

 

CSC Holdings

 

CSC Holdings is one of the largest cable operators in the United States based on the number of basic video subscribers.  We also operate cable programming networks, entertainment businesses, telecommunications companies and a newspaper publishing business.  As of December 31, 2009, we served approximately 3.1 million basic video subscribers in and around the New York City metropolitan area, making us the fifth largest cable operator in the United States based on the number of basic video subscribers.  We believe that our cable television systems comprise the largest metropolitan cluster of cable television systems under common ownership in the United States (measured by number of basic video subscribers).  Through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC (“Rainbow Media Holdings”), we have ownership interests in companies that produce and distribute national entertainment and regional news programming services, and a cable television advertising sales business.  Through Cablevision Lightpath, Inc. (“Optimum Lightpath”), our wholly-owned subsidiary, we provide telephone services and high-speed Internet access to the business market.  In addition, we own approximately 97.2% of Newsday LLC which operates a newspaper publishing business.

 

On November 10, 2009, CSC Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cablevision, converted its form of business organization from a Delaware corporation to a Delaware limited liability company pursuant to Section 266 of the Delaware General Corporation Law and Section 18-214 of the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act (the “Conversion”). Upon the Conversion, CSC Holdings, Inc. was converted into “CSC Holdings, LLC”.

 

Through December 31, 2009, we classified our business interests into four segments: Telecommunications Services; Rainbow; Newsday; and Madison Square Garden.

 

Our Telecommunications Services segment includes our cable television business, including its video, high-speed data, and Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) operations and the operations of the commercial high-speed data and voice services provided by Optimum Lightpath.

 

Our Rainbow segment consists principally of our interests in national and regional television programming networks, including AMC, WE tv, IFC, Sundance Channel (as of June 16, 2008), and the News 12 Networks.  Rainbow also includes a cable television advertising sales business.

 

1



Table of Contents

 

Our Newsday segment consists of the Newsday daily newspaper, amNew York, Star Community Publishing Group, and online websites including newsday.com and exploreLI.com.

 

On February 9, 2010, Cablevision distributed to its stockholders all of the outstanding common stock of Madison Square Garden, Inc. (“Madison Square Garden”), a company which owns the sports, entertainment and media businesses previously owned and operated by the Company’s Madison Square Garden segment (the “MSG Distribution”).  The MSG Distribution took the form of a distribution by Cablevision of one share of Madison Square Garden Class A Common Stock for every four shares of Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock held of record at the close of business in New York City on January 25, 2010 (the “Record Date”) and one share of Madison Square Garden Class B Common Stock for every four shares of Cablevision NY Group Class B Common Stock held of record on the Record Date.  For additional information concerning the MSG Distribution, see “Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 8.  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” and our Form 8-K filed on February 10, 2010.

 

In addition, we own or have interests in the following businesses and assets:

 

·                  the motion picture theater business of Clearview Cinemas, which operates 48 movie theaters containing 254 screens,

·                  PVI Virtual Media Services LLC, which markets a real time video insertion system that places computer generated electronic images into telecasts of sporting events and other programming,

·                  MSG Varsity network dedicated entirely to showcasing high school sports and activities, and

·                  the common stock of Comcast Corporation which we received in connection with asset sales in prior years and which we monetized through the execution of prepaid forward contracts, collateralized by an equivalent amount of the Comcast Corporation common stock.

 

Telecommunications Services

 

General

 

Cable television is a service that delivers multiple channels of video programming to subscribers who pay a monthly fee for the services they receive.  Video signals are received over-the-air, by fiber optic transport or via satellite delivery by antennas, microwave relay stations and satellite earth stations and are modulated, amplified and distributed over a network of coaxial and fiber optic cable to the subscribers’ television sets.  Cable television systems typically are constructed and operated pursuant to non-exclusive franchises awarded by local and state governmental authorities for specified periods of time.

 

Our cable television systems offer varying packages of service marketed under the Optimum and iO brand names, which may include, among other programming, local broadcast network affiliates and independent television stations, certain other news, information and entertainment channels such as CNN, CNBC, ESPN, and MTV, and certain premium services such as HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz!/Encore and Cinemax.  We also offer iO-branded digital video service, which enables customers to receive video on demand and subscription video on demand services, as well as additional viewing channels.

 

Our cable television revenues are derived principally from monthly fees paid by subscribers.  In addition to recurring subscriber revenues, we derive revenues from the sales of pay-per-view movies and events, video on demand and subscription video on demand program services, from the sale of advertising time on advertiser supported programming and from installation and equipment charges.  Certain services and equipment provided by substantially all of our cable television systems are subject to regulation.  See “Regulation - Cable Television.”

 

2



Table of Contents

 

We also provide high-speed data services using our cable television broadband network.  High-speed data services are provided to customers through a cable modem device.  The high-speed data service, marketed as “Optimum Online”, served approximately 2.6 million subscribers at December 31, 2009 for an overall penetration rate of 53.2% of the homes passed by our cable television network.  We believe that our high-speed data service penetration has been driven by superior quality and speed and, in part, by a large number of customers installing the necessary equipment without the need for a service call.

 

In addition, the Company offers VoIP technology services exclusively to our Optimum Online subscribers, marketed as “Optimum Voice.”  As of December 31, 2009, we provided Optimum Voice services to approximately 2.1 million customers for an overall penetration rate of 42.5% of the homes passed by our cable television network and 79.9% penetration of our Optimum Online subscriber base.

 

Through Optimum Lightpath, a business broadband service provider, we provide telecommunications services to the business market in the greater New York City metropolitan area.  Optimum Lightpath provides converged data, Internet and voice solutions to mid-sized and large businesses, hospital systems, municipalities, and school systems.  As of December 31, 2009, Optimum Lightpath serviced 3,800 buildings.  Optimum Lightpath has built an advanced fiber optic network extending more than 3,900 route miles (203,000 fiber miles) throughout the New York City metropolitan area.

 

The following table sets forth certain statistical data regarding our video, high-speed data and VoIP operations as of the dates indicated.

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2009

 

2008

 

2007

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per subscriber amounts)

 

Revenue Generating Units:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Video Customers (1)

 

3,063

 

3,108

 

3,123

 

iO Digital Video Customers

 

2,893

 

2,837

 

2,628

 

Optimum Online High-Speed Data Customers

 

2,568

 

2,455

 

2,282

 

Optimum Voice Customers

 

2,052

 

1,878

 

1,592

 

Total Revenue Generating Units

 

10,576

 

10,278

 

9,625

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Relationships (2)

 

3,314

 

3,325

 

3,317

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes Passed by Cable (3)

 

4,829

 

4,732

 

4,679

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penetration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Video to Homes Passed

 

63.4

%

65.7

%

66.8

%

iO Digital to Basic Penetration

 

94.4

%

91.3

%

84.1

%

Optimum Online to Homes Passed

 

53.2

%

51.9

%

48.8

%

Optimum Voice to Homes Passed

 

42.5

%

39.7

%

34.0

%

Average Monthly Revenue per Basic Video Customer (“RPS”) (4)

 

$

144.03

 

$

134.85

 

$

125.10

 

 


(1)                      Basic video customers represent each customer account (set up and segregated by customer name and address), weighted equally and counted as one subscriber, regardless of size, revenue generated, or number of boxes, units, or outlets.  In calculating the number of customers, we count all customers other than inactive/disconnected customers.  Free accounts are included in the customer counts along with all active accounts, but they are limited to a prescribed group such as our current and retired employees.  Such accounts are also not entirely free, as they typically generate revenue through pay-per-view or other services for which they must pay.  Free status is not granted to regular customers as a promotion.  We count a bulk commercial customer, such as a hotel, as one customer, and do not count individual room units at that hotel.  In counting bulk residential customers such as an apartment building, we count each subscribing family unit within the building as one customer, but do not count the master account for the entire building as a customer.

(2)                      Number of customers who receive at least one of our services.

(3)                      Homes passed by cable represents the estimated number of single residence homes, apartment and condominium units and commercial establishments passed by the cable distribution network in areas serviceable without further extending the transmission lines.

(4)                      RPS is calculated by dividing the average monthly U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) revenues for the Telecommunications Services segment, less the revenue attributable to Optimum Lightpath, for the fourth quarter of

 

3



Table of Contents

 

each year presented by the average number of basic video customers served by our cable television systems for the same period.  For purposes of this calculation, both revenue and average number of basic video customers exclude our Optimum Lightpath operations because Optimum Lightpath’s third-party revenues are unrelated to our cable television system customers.

 

Subscriber Rates and Services; Marketing and Sales

 

Basic Cable

 

Our cable television systems offer a government mandated broadcast basic level of service which generally includes local over-the-air broadcast stations, such as network affiliates (e.g., ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX), and public, educational or governmental channels.

 

All of our cable television systems also offer an expanded basic package of services, generally marketed as “Family Cable”, which includes, among other programming, news, information, entertainment, and sports channels such as CNN, AMC, CNBC, Discovery, ESPN and the Disney Channel.  For additional charges, our cable television systems provide premium services such as HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz!/Encore and Cinemax, which may be purchased either individually or in tiers.

 

iO, TV

 

iO, TV, our digital video service, is available to Cablevision’s entire service area.  We ended 2009 with approximately 2.9 million iO subscribers.

 

The digital video programming services currently offered to subscribers include:

 

·                  Over 450 channels of entertainment,

·                  Over 90 movie channels including multiple channels (“multiplexes”) of HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz!/Encore and The Movie Channel,

·                  Access to thousands of on-demand titles each month:

·                  Hit Hollywood movies (most available in high definition (“HD”), as well as older classics, independent favorites and international films,

·                  Subscription on-demand services with programming from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Disney Channel, Anime Network, Howard TV, Playboy TV, IFC in Theaters, WWE Classics, The Jewish Channel, here! TV and Bollywood Hits On Demand,

·                  Free on-demand offers programming from over 45 networks such as Discovery, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, CNN, TLC, AMC, Univision, and Music Choice, as well as special interest and local programming,

·                  46 channels of uninterrupted commercial-free digital music from Music Choice,

·                  iO Sports Pak with 25 sports channels (including 9 in high definition (“HD”)) featuring college sports, golf, soccer, baseball, tennis, hockey, extreme sports, and recreational activities,

·                  Seasonal sports packages from the National Basketball Association (“NBA”), National Hockey League (“NHL”), Major League Baseball (“MLB”), Major League Soccer (“MLS”), college football and basketball,

·                  iO en espanol - over 35 Spanish language channels including programming from the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain, and Mexico.  Also included is World Picks Latino On Demand which offers 50 hours of Spanish-language programming every month, at no additional charge,

 

4



Table of Contents

 

·                  24 channels of international programming from around the world, with channels from Brazil, the Philippines, Russia, France, Portugal, Italy, Poland, China, Japan, Korea, and India/Southeast Asia,

·                  Over 100 channels available in HD, including local channels such as WCBS, WABC, WNBC, WNYW (FOX), the CW, My9, and WNET (PBS), as well as local sports channels, MSG Network, YES Network, SportsNet NY, and MSG Plus.  Offerings also include HD channels from HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, IFC, Bravo, The Movie Channel, Starz!, Universal, ESPN, ESPN2, NHL Network, MLB Network, the Golf Channel, Versus, Fuse, CNN, CNBC, Food Network, HGTV, National Geographic Channel, HD Theater, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TNT, TBS, USA Network, WE, Speed, and FX.  In addition, HD movies are available on demand for an additional fee,

·                  A collection of enhanced television applications including News 12 Interactive, Newsday TV (Long Island only), Optimum Autos, Optimum Homes, MSG Interactive, MSG Varsity, and CNET TV,

·                  Digital video recorder (“DVR”) for iO service, giving subscribers the ability to record, pause and rewind live television, and

·                  iO Games, a wide variety of interactive games offered in distinct packages including the Arcade Pak, Casino Pak, Variety Pak, Hits Pak, Sesame Street Games Pak, and Logic Pak.

 

Packaging of the iO TV product includes the iO Gold package currently priced at $99.95 per month.  iO Gold features over 340 all digital channels, including more than 90 premium movie channels and 100 high definition television (“HDTV”) programming services.  iO Silver, currently priced at $79.95 per month, includes everything in iO Gold except for NBA TV, Flix, Smithsonian and premium movie channels from HBO, Cinemax and The Movie Channel.

 

The currently priced $11.95 per month iO package (which is included in iO Gold and iO Silver) can be added to any level of cable service and includes over 50 digital video channels including 17 HD video channels, 46 digital music channels from Music Choice, and access to video on demand programming.  Discount and promotional pricing is available when iO is combined with other service offerings.

 

Since our network serving our existing cable television systems is upgraded to provide advanced digital video services, our sales efforts are primarily directed toward increasing our penetration to homes passed for all of our existing services.  We market our cable television services through in-person selling, as well as telemarketing, direct mail advertising, promotional campaigns and local media and newspaper advertising.

 

Optimum Online

 

Optimum Online is our high-speed Internet access offering.  Optimum Online connects customers to the Internet using the same network that delivers our cable television service.  It is significantly faster than digital subscriber line (“DSL”) and traditional dial-up services.  Optimum Online is available to Cablevision’s entire service area.

 

Our plant is designed for download speeds to a maximum of: (i) 15Mbps downstream and 2Mbps upstream for our Optimum Online level of service, (ii) 30Mbps downstream and 5Mbps upstream for our Optimum Online Boost level of service, and (iii) 101Mbps downstream and 15Mbps upstream for our Optimum Online Ultra level of service.

 

Optimum Online is currently priced at $49.95 per month on an a la carte basis with Optimum Online Boost available for an additional charge of $14.95 per month.  Optimum Online Ultra is available at an additional charge of $55.00 per month.  Discount and promotional pricing are available when Optimum Online is combined with other service offerings.

 

5



Table of Contents

 

The Company has deployed a broadband wireless network (“WiFi”) in commercial and high traffic locations across its service areas as a free value-added benefit to Optimum Online customers.  The WiFi feature which is delivered via wireless access points mounted on the Company’s cable television broadband network allows Optimum Online customers to access the service while they are away from their home or office.  WiFi has been activated across the Company’s Long Island, Bronx, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut service areas.

 

Optimum Online service includes access to the following complimentary features:

 

·                  Access to outdoor broadband WiFi across the Company’s service area;

·                  Web and mobile access to DVR for iO, giving users the ability to remotely schedule and manage recordings;

·                  Internet security software including anti-Virus, anti-spyware, personal firewall, and anti-spam protection; and

·                  Automated online backup of computer files.

 

We ended 2009 with approximately 2.6 million Optimum Online subscribers.

 

Optimum Voice

 

Optimum Voice is a VoIP service available exclusively to Optimum Online subscribers that offers unlimited local, regional and long-distance calling within the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada with popular calling features at one low, flat monthly rate.

 

With Optimum Voice, customers can call anywhere within the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, any time of the day or night, and talk as long as they like at the current price of $34.95 per month.  Discount and promotional pricing is available when Optimum Voice is combined with other service offerings.

 

Optimum Voice includes the following premium calling features, plus “My Optimum Voice”:

 

·                  Enhanced Voicemail

·                  Call Waiting

·                  Caller ID

·                  Caller ID Blocking

·                  Call Return

·                  Three-Way Calling

·                  Call Forwarding

·                  Anonymous call blocker - blocks all calls to a Voice customer where a calling party does not display their name or number

·                  Anonymous calling - hides the Voice customer’s name and number on all calls they make

·                  Find me - allows calls to a Voice customer’s phone number to ring up to three additional phone lines, such as a cell phone or work number, simultaneously

·                  Call waiting with caller ID

·                  Busy Redial

·                  VIP Ringing - a Voice customer can designate up to 32 telephone numbers to ring with a second, distinct ring tone

 

6



Table of Contents

 

My Optimum Voice allows customers to manage calling features, view their call history, and receive voicemails via the Internet.

 

Optimum Voice World Call provides customers 250 minutes per month of calling from their Optimum Voice phone anywhere in the world including up to 30 minutes of calling to Cuba, with certain restrictions, for a flat monthly fee of $19.95.

 

Optimum Voice is available to Cablevision’s service area.  We ended 2009 with approximately 2.1 million combined residential and business Optimum Voice customers.

 

Bundled Offers

 

We offer several promotional packages with discounted pricing to customers who subscribe to one or more of our products as compared to the a la carte prices for each individual product.  Our “Optimum Triple Play” family package currently offers iO TV, Optimum Online and Optimum Voice for $29.95 per month for each service for the first twelve months when purchased together.  A promotional package currently offers Optimum Online and Optimum Voice for $29.95 per month for each service for the first twelve months when purchased together.  We also offer other pricing discounts for certain products that are added to existing service.

 

System Capacity

 

Our cable plant network uses state of the art technology including fiber optic cable.  The network is a minimum of 750 MHz two-way interactive system offering a combination of analog and digital channels, high-speed data and voice services.

 

Programming

 

Adequate programming is available to the cable television systems from a variety of sources, including from Rainbow Media Holdings, our wholly-owned subsidiary.  Program suppliers’ compensation is typically a fixed, per subscriber monthly fee (subject to contractual escalations) based, in most cases, either on the total number of basic video subscribers of the cable television systems, or on the number of subscribers subscribing to the particular service.  The programming contracts are generally for a fixed period of time and are subject to negotiated renewal.  Cable programming costs have increased in recent years and are expected to continue to increase due to additional programming being provided to most subscribers, increased costs to produce or purchase cable programming and other factors.

 

Franchises

 

The Company’s cable television systems are operated in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under non-exclusive franchise agreements with state and/or municipal franchising authorities.  Franchise agreements usually require payment of franchise fees and contain regulatory provisions addressing, among other things, service quality, cable service to schools and other public institutions, insurance and indemnity bonds.  The terms and conditions of cable franchises vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Franchise authorities generally charge a franchise fee of not more than 5% of certain of our cable service revenues that are derived from the operation of the system within such locality.  The Company generally passes the franchise fee on to its subscribers, listing it as a separate item on the bill.

 

Franchise agreements are usually for a term of five to fifteen years from the date of grant; most are ten years.  Franchises usually are terminable only if the cable operator fails to comply with material provisions, and then only after complying with substantive and procedural protections afforded by the franchise and federal and state law.  As of December 31, 2009, our ten largest franchise areas comprised approximately 48% of our total basic video customers and of those, five franchises, including New York

 

7



Table of Contents

 

City, comprising approximately 959,000 basic video customers, are expired.  We are currently operating in these franchise areas under temporary authority and we are actively engaged in or have completed negotiations to renew these franchises.  The Company has never lost a franchise for an area in which it operates.  When a franchise agreement reaches expiration, a franchising authority may seek to impose new requirements, including requirements to upgrade facilities, to increase channel capacity and to provide additional support for local public, education and government access programming.  Negotiations can be protracted and franchise agreements sometimes expire before a renewal is negotiated and finalized.  State laws provide that pre-existing franchise terms continue in force during the renewal negotiations until agreement is reached or one or both parties seek to pursue “formal” franchise remedies under federal law.  Federal law provides significant substantive and procedural protections for cable operators seeking renewal of their franchises.  See “Regulation - Cable Television.”  Despite the Company’s efforts and the protections of federal law, it is possible that one or more of the Company’s franchises may be subject to termination or non-renewal or we may be required to make significant additional investments in response to requirements imposed in the course of the franchise renewal process.

 

Optimum Lightpath holds a franchise from New York City which grants rights of way authority to provide telecommunications services throughout the five boroughs.  The franchise expired on December 20, 2008 and renewal discussions with New York City are ongoing.  We believe we will be able to obtain renewal of the franchise and have received assurance from New York City that the expiration date of the franchise is being treated as extended until a formal determination on renewal is made.  Failure to ultimately obtain renewal of the franchise could negatively affect Optimum Lightpath’s revenues.

 

Rainbow

 

General

 

We conduct substantially all of our programming activities through Rainbow Media Holdings.  Rainbow Media Holdings’ businesses include ownership interests in national television programming networks and regional news networks.

 

Rainbow Media Holdings’ national entertainment programming networks include AMC, WE tv, IFC, Sundance Channel (since June 2008), and Wedding Central (since the third quarter of 2009).  Rainbow Media Holdings also owns the News 12 Networks, which provide 24-hour local news, traffic and weather services dedicated to covering areas within the New York metropolitan area and also owns and operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, a cable television advertising company, among other businesses.

 

8



Table of Contents

 

The following table sets forth estimated subscriber information as of December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007 for our programming businesses.  These businesses are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Rainbow Media Holdings.

 

 

 

Viewing Subscribers (a)

 

 

 

2009

 

2008

 

2007

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Programming and Related Businesses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Entertainment Programming Networks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMC

 

87,700

 

86,100

 

84,400

 

WE tv

 

62,500

 

61,000

 

57,200

 

IFC

 

50,100

 

48,900

 

44,600

 

Sundance Channel(b)

 

37,900

 

30,800

 

 

Fuse(c)

 

54,600

 

52,500

 

47,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional Sports Networks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MSG Network/MSG Plus(c)

 

16,200

 

16,200

 

15,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional News Services:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News 12 Services

 

3,800

 

3,800

 

3,900

 

News 12 Traffic and Weather

 

2,700

 

3,000

 

2,800

 

 


(a)                      Represents the number of subscribers to distributors’ systems that receive the referenced programming network.

(b)                     Sundance Channel was acquired on June 16, 2008.

(c)                      Fuse, MSG Network and MSG Plus were part of the Company’s Madison Square Garden segment.  Madison Square Garden was distributed to the stockholders of Cablevision in a transaction completed on February 9, 2010.

 

National Entertainment Programming Networks

 

AMC

 

With a comprehensive library of popular films, AMC offers movie-based entertainment for movie lovers.

 

AMC is available on cable television and other distribution platforms such as direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) and video programming offered by telephone companies in the United States, and in 2006 and 2007, the AMC service was launched by certain cable television operators in Canada.  It is principally carried on basic or expanded basic tiers for which subscribers do not have to pay a premium to receive the network.  Affiliate revenues are based on fees paid by the distributors for the right to carry the programming.

 

AMC’s film library consists of films that are licensed from major studios such as Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony, MGM, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Buena Vista under long-term contracts, with sufficient films under contract as of December 31, 2009 to meet its minimum film programming needs for at least the next twelve months.  AMC generally structures its contracts for the exclusive cable television right to air the films during identified windows. AMC’s programming also includes Emmy and Golden Globe award winning/nominated original scripted dramatic television series such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad, the mini-series The Prisoner, and unscripted series such as Storymakers and AMC News.

 

WE tv

 

WE tv is a 24-hour entertainment network for women.  The programming is available on multiple platforms and features original and acquired series and specials as well as feature films.

 

9



Table of Contents

 

WE tv’s primetime schedule includes original programming, with the most successful series being Bridezillas, My Fair Wedding, The Locator, Amazing Wedding Cakes and Little Miss Perfect. Additionally, WE tv’s programming includes acquired series such as Ghost Whisperer, Charmed, Golden Girls, 20/20, and 48 Hours. WE tv has the exclusive license rights to films and off-network series from major studios such as Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. to supplement its original programming. WE tv’s library has sufficient films licensed under contract as of December 31, 2009 to meet WE tv’s minimum film programming needs for at least the next twelve months.

 

IFC

 

IFC is a network dedicated to independent films and complementary content inspired by the independent spirit.  IFC’s original programming airs alongside a library of award-winning titles, feature-length films, independent films (domestically and internationally produced), documentaries, shorts, animation, and cult classics.

 

IFC’s film library includes titles from IFC Entertainment’s film production, film distribution and video-on-demand businesses (see “Other Services” below), as well as from major independent film distribution companies like Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics, Lionsgate Films and Miramax Films, with sufficient films under contract as of December 31, 2009 to meet its minimum film programming requirements for at least the next twelve months.  IFC also features exclusive live coverage of notable international film events like the Cannes Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Awards as well as original series such as Z Rock, Bollywood Hero, The Media Project, and The Whitest Kids U’Know, and original documentaries such as This Film Is Not Yet Rated, New World Order and At the Death House Door.

 

Sundance Channel

 

Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs, all unedited and commercial free.  The programming is available on multiple platforms and features films, original series and specials.  Sundance Channel’s library has sufficient films licensed under contract to meet its minimum film programming needs for at least the next twelve months.  Sundance Channel’s original series and destinations include Iconoclasts, Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…, and THE GREEN block of programming that is dedicated to the environment and includes Big Ideas for a Small Planet, Architecture School, Eco Trip and The Lazy Environmentalist.

 

VOOM HD Networks

 

VOOM HD Holdings LLC (“VOOM HD”) historically offered a suite of channels, produced exclusively in HD and marketed for distribution to DBS and cable operators (“VOOM”).  VOOM was available in the United States only on the Company’s cable television systems and EchoStar Communications Corporation’s (“EchoStar”) DISH Network.  See “Item 3. Legal Proceedings”.

 

On December 18, 2008, the Company decided to discontinue funding of the U.S. domestic offering of VOOM.  Subsequently, VOOM HD terminated the U.S. domestic offering of VOOM.  VOOM HD discontinued the VOOM International channel as of December 31, 2009.  VOOM HD currently distributes the Rush HD channel, a network dedicated to action and adventure sports, of the VOOM service internationally.

 

10



Table of Contents

 

Regional Services

 

News 12 Networks

 

The regional news services provided by the Company include News 12 Long Island, News 12 New Jersey, News 12 Westchester, News 12 Connecticut, News 12 The Bronx, News 12 Brooklyn, News 12 Hudson Valley, and News 12 Interactive, as well as News 12 Traffic and Weather (collectively, the “News 12 Networks”).  The News 12 Networks include seven 24-hour local news channels and five traffic and weather services dedicated to covering areas within the New York metropolitan area.

 

Other Services

 

IFC Entertainment

 

IFC Entertainment encompasses Rainbow Media Holdings’ film distribution and video-on-demand exhibition businesses and was created to extend the IFC brand beyond television.  IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands, such as, IFC in Theaters, IFC Festival Direct and Sundance Selects, which distribute critically acclaimed independent films across all available media platforms, including via tangible home video, television, electronic downloading and video-on-demand.  IFC in Theaters and Sundance Selects titles are new independent films and documentaries that are available on-demand on the same day that they are distributed theatrically.  IFC Festival Direct titles feature a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals that premiere exclusively via on-demand platforms.  The on-demand services are currently offered to Cablevision’s subscribers as well as being carried by other operators throughout the United States.  IFC in Theaters and Sundance Selects released 48 titles during 2009 and IFC Festival Direct also released 48 titles during 2009.  Recently released films include Che, Gomorrah, I Hate Valentine’s Day, Summer Hours, and Antichrist.

 

Rainbow Network Communications

 

Rainbow Network Communications, servicing primarily Rainbow Media Holdings’ programming offerings, is a full service network programming origination and distribution company.  Its services include origination, transmission, video engineering, uplinking, encryption, affiliate engineering, technology consulting, transponder negotiation, content ordering, quality control and editing.  Rainbow Network Communications has a state of the art technology center that consolidates all master control/playback and uplink facilities in one location.  This center is fully digital which enables Rainbow Network Communications to process audio and video signals in both standard and high definition.

 

Newsday

 

Newsday (whose businesses were acquired on July 29, 2008) consists of the Newsday daily newspaper, amNew York, Star Community Publishing Group and online websites, including newsday.com and exploreLI.com.  Newsday also included Island Publications, which was shutdown in December 2008.  The Company’s consolidated results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2008 include the operating results of Newsday subsequent to July 29, 2008.

 

Our publications are distributed through both paid and free distribution in various ways across Long Island and the New York metropolitan area.  Our products include:

 

·                  the Newsday daily newspaper, which is primarily distributed on Long Island, New York and in the New York metropolitan area, with average paid circulation for the six months ended September 27, 2009 of approximately 357,000 on weekdays (a decrease of 5.4% over the comparable prior year period), approximately 323,000 on Saturdays (a decrease of 4.1% over the comparable prior year period) and approximately 414,000 on Sundays (a decrease of 4.6% over the comparable prior year period);

 

11



Table of Contents

 

·                  amNew York, a free daily newspaper distributed in New York City, with average weekday circulation of approximately 327,000 for the six months ended September 27, 2009 an increase of approximately 1.4% over the comparable prior year period;

·                  Star Community Publishing, a group of weekly shopper publications, distributes approximately 2,659,000 copies each week (for the six months ended September 27, 2009), a decrease of approximately 1% over the comparable prior year period; and

·                  websites with average monthly page views and visitors for the six months ended September 27, 2009 of approximately 42 million and 3 million, respectively, which extend the reach and frequency of our products beyond their geographic print distribution area and onto the Internet.  Average monthly page views decreased approximately 36% over the comparable prior year period as Newsday pared back its focus on non-local content, however the number of unique visitors remained consistent with the comparable prior year period.

 

In October 2009, Newsday transitioned to a subscriber access model for a substantial portion of its newsday.com website’s content.  The website is available for no additional charge to Newsday subscribers and to Optimum Online customers.

 

In December 2009, Newsday ceased the publishing of certain unprofitable shopper publications serving the boroughs of New York City.

 

Madison Square Garden

 

On February 9, 2010, Cablevision distributed to its stockholders all of the outstanding common stock of Madison Square Garden, a company which owns the sports, entertainment and media businesses previously owned and operated by the Company’s Madison Square Garden segment.  The MSG Distribution took the form of a distribution by Cablevision of one share of Madison Square Garden Class A Common Stock for every four shares of Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock held of record on the Record Date and one share of Madison Square Garden Class B Common Stock for every four shares of Cablevision NY Group Class B Common Stock held of record on the Record Date.

 

Other Businesses and Assets

 

Clearview Cinemas operates 48 movie theaters containing 254 screens in the New York metropolitan area.

 

An indirect subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings owns a 90% interest in an entity, DTV Norwich LLC that holds Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) licenses in 45 metropolitan areas in the United States, including New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Cleveland, to provide multi-channel video distribution and data service (“MVDDS”), which could be used to distribute video, data or other applications to subscribers via terrestrial transmission facilities and rooftop antennas.

 

PVI Virtual Media Services LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, which markets a real time video insertion system that through patented technology places computer generated electronic images into telecasts of sporting events and other programming.

 

MSG Varsity, launched in September 2009, is a network dedicated entirely to showcasing high school sports and activities.  This suite-of-services enables students to share their stories through a combination of television and interactive platforms.  One of the many compelling components of this programming service is the involvement of high schools throughout our footprint as co-producers of MSG Varsity’s content, in addition to content created by our professional productions.  We have a licensing arrangement with Madison Square Garden permitting us to use “MSG Varsity” as the name of this programming service.

 

12



Table of Contents

 

We also own 21,477,618 shares of Comcast common stock acquired in connection with the sale of certain cable television systems.  All of these shares have been monetized pursuant to collateralized prepaid forward contracts.  See “Item 7A.  Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” for a discussion of our monetization contracts.

 

Competition

 

Cable Television

 

Our cable television systems operate in an intensely competitive environment, competing with a variety of other television programming delivery systems, including satellite-delivered signals, delivery systems of incumbent telephone companies and broadcast television signals available to homes within our market by over-the-air reception.

 

Incumbent Telephone Companies.  We face intense competition from two incumbent telephone companies.  Verizon and AT&T Inc. (“AT&T”), which offer video programming in addition to their voice and high-speed Internet access services to residential customers in our service area, compete across all of our telecommunications products.  Verizon has made promotional offers to customers in our service area and we expect that they may make additional promotional offers in the future.  The attractive demographics of our service territory make this region a desirable location for investment in video distribution technologies by these companies.  Verizon has constructed fiber to the home network plant that passes a significant number of households in our service area (currently about one-third of the households according to our estimates).  Verizon has obtained authority to provide video service (it already has or needs no authority to provide phone and data services) for a majority of these homes passed, on a statewide basis in New Jersey and through numerous local franchises in New York and all of New York City.  Verizon has so far not indicated any plans to offer video service in Connecticut.  AT&T offers video service in competition with us in most of our Connecticut service area.  See “Regulation” and Item 1A. Risk Factors — “Our business is subject to extensive government regulation and changes in current or future laws or regulations could restrict our ability to operate our business as we currently do” for a discussion of regulatory and legislative issues.  Verizon and AT&T also market DBS services in our service area.  Each of these companies has significantly greater financial resources than we do.

 

DBS.  We also face competition from DBS service providers.  Two major DBS services, EchoStar’s DISH Network and DirecTV, are available to the vast majority of our customers.  These services each offer over 300 channels of programming, including programming that is substantially similar to the programming that we offer.  Our ability to compete with these DBS services is also affected by the quality and quantity of programming available to us and to them.  DirecTV also has exclusive arrangements with the NFL that gives it access to programming that we cannot offer.

 

Other Competitors.  Competitive service providers that utilize the public rights-of-way and operate an “open video system” (“OVS”) are another source of video competition.  RCN Corporation is authorized to operate OVS systems that may compete with us in New York City.  Cable television systems also face competition from broadcast television stations and satellite master antenna television (“SMATV”) systems, which generally serve large multiple dwelling units under an agreement with the landlord.  The FCC also has made radio spectrum available for the provision of multichannel video service, and cellular phone providers have begun to offer video content for viewing on wireless handsets.  These wireless video offerings are not subject to the same local franchise and other requirements applicable to cable television systems and services. Another source of competition is the delivery of video programming over the Internet directly to subscribers.  Cable television systems also compete with entities that make digital video recorded movies and programs available for home rental or sale.

 

There can be no assurance that these or other existing, proposed, or as yet undeveloped technologies will not become dominant in the future and render our cable television systems less profitable or even obsolete.

 

13



Table of Contents

 

High-Speed Data

 

Our high-speed data offering , Optimum Online, faces intense competition from other providers of high-speed Internet access, including Verizon and AT&T.  In addition, DBS providers have tested the use of certain spectrum to offer satellite-based high-speed data services.  Cellular phone providers are also increasing the speeds of their Internet access offerings, and the FCC has made other radio spectrum available for wireless high-speed Internet access.

 

VoIP

 

Our VoIP service, Optimum Voice, faces intense competition from other providers of voice services, including carriers such as Verizon and AT&T.  We must also negotiate interconnection agreements with these carriers.  Optimum Voice also faces competition from other competitive providers of voice services, including wireless voice providers, as well as VoIP providers like Vonage that do not own networks but can provide service to any person with a broadband connection.

 

Optimum Lightpath

 

Optimum Lightpath operates in the most competitive business telecommunications market in the country and competes against the very largest telecommunications companies - incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”), other competitive local exchange companies (“CLECs”) and long distance companies.  More specifically, Optimum Lightpath faces substantial competition from Verizon and AT&T, which are the dominant providers of local telephone and broadband services in their respective service areas.  ILECs have significant advantages over Optimum Lightpath, including greater capital resources, an existing fully operational local network, and long-standing relationships with customers.

 

While Optimum Lightpath and the ILECs are competitors, Optimum Lightpath must enter into interconnection agreements with each ILEC so that Optimum Lightpath’s customers can make and receive calls to and from customers served by the ILECs and other telecommunications providers.  Federal and state law and regulations require ILECs to enter into such agreements and provide such facilities and services, at prices subject to regulation.  The specific price, terms and conditions of each agreement, however, depend on the outcome of negotiations between Optimum Lightpath and an ILEC.  Agreements are also subject to approval by the state regulatory commissions.  Optimum Lightpath has entered into interconnection agreements with Verizon for New York, New Jersey and portions of Connecticut and with AT&T for portions of Connecticut, which have been approved by the respective state commissions.  Optimum Lightpath also entered into interconnection agreements with regional carriers in New York and New Jersey.  These agreements, like all interconnection agreements, are for limited terms and are required to be renegotiated, arbitrated and approved subject to the laws in effect at that time.

 

Optimum Lightpath also faces competition from one or more competitive access providers and other new entrants in the local telecommunications and data marketplace, and competitive local exchange carriers.  In addition to the ILECs and CLECs, other potential competitors capable of offering voice and broadband services include electric utilities, long distance carriers, microwave carriers, wireless telephone system operators (such as cellular, PCS, and specialized mobile radio), and private networks built by large end users.  A continuing trend toward business combinations and alliances in the telecommunications industry may create stronger competition for Optimum Lightpath.

 

Programming and Entertainment

 

Rainbow Media Holdings’ programming networks operate in highly competitive markets.  First, our programming networks compete with other programming networks to obtain distribution on cable television systems and other multichannel video programming distribution systems, such as DBS, and ultimately for viewing by each system’s subscribers.  Second, our programming networks compete with

 

14



Table of Contents

 

other video programming distributors, including broadcasters and other programming entities, to secure desired entertainment programming.  In each of these markets, some of our competitors are large publicly held companies that have greater financial resources than we do.   In addition, Rainbow Media Holdings competes with these entities for advertising revenue.

 

It is difficult to predict the future effect of technology on many of the factors affecting Rainbow Media Holdings’ competitive position.  For example, data compression technology has made it possible for most video programming distributors to increase their channel capacity, which may reduce the competition among programming networks and broadcasters for channel space.  On the other hand, the addition of channel space could also increase competition for desired entertainment programming and ultimately, for viewing by subscribers.  As more channel space becomes available, the position of our programming networks in the most favorable tiers of these distributors would be an important goal.  Additionally, video content delivered directly to viewers over the Internet competes with our programming networks for viewership.

 

Distribution of Programming Networks

 

The business of distributing programming networks to cable television systems and other multichannel video programming distributors is highly competitive. Our programming networks face competition from other programming networks for the right to be carried by a particular cable system or other multichannel video programming distribution system, and for the right to be carried on the service tier that will attract the most subscribers.  Once our programming network is selected by a cable or other multichannel video programming distribution system for carriage, that network competes for viewers not only with the other channels available on the system, but also with off-air broadcast television, pay-per-view channels and video-on-demand channels, as well as online services, mobile services, radio, print media, motion picture theaters, DVDs, and other sources of information, sporting events and entertainment.

 

Important to our success in each area of competition Rainbow Media Holdings faces are the prices we charge for our programming networks; the quantity, quality and variety of the programming offered on our networks; and the effectiveness of our networks’ marketing efforts.  The competition for viewers in the context of nonpremium programming networks directly correlates with the competition for advertising revenues with each of our competitors.

 

Our ability to successfully compete with other programming networks for distribution may be hampered because the cable television systems, DBS services or other systems through which we seek distribution may be affiliated with other programming networks.  In addition, because such affiliated cable television systems or DBS services may have a substantial number of subscribers, the ability of such programming networks to obtain distribution on affiliated cable television or DBS services may lead to increased affiliation and advertising revenue for such networks because of their increased penetration compared to our programming networks.  Even if such affiliated cable television or DBS operators carry our programming networks, there is no assurance that such cable television or DBS operators would not place their affiliated programming network on a more desirable tier, thereby giving the affiliated programming network a competitive advantage over our own.

 

New or existing programming networks with affiliations to desired broadcasting networks like NBC, ABC, CBS or FOX may also have a competitive advantage over our networks in obtaining distribution through the “bundling” of agreements to carry those programming networks with the agreements giving the cable system or other distributor the right to carry a broadcast station affiliated with the broadcasting network.

 

An important part of our strategy involves exploiting identified niches of the viewing audience that are generally well-defined and limited in size.  Rainbow Media Holdings has faced and will continue to face increasing competition as other programming networks and online or other services are launched that seek to serve the same or similar niches.

 

15



Table of Contents

 

Sources of Programming

 

We also compete with other programming networks to secure desired programming.  Although some of this programming is generated internally through our efforts in original programming, most of our programming is obtained through agreements with other parties that have produced or own the rights to such programming.  Competition for this programming will increase as the number of programming networks increases.  Other programming networks that are affiliated with programming sources such as movie or television studios, film libraries or sports teams may have a competitive advantage over us in this area.

 

Competition for Entertainment Programming Sources.  With respect to the acquisition of entertainment programming, such as syndicated programs and movies, which are not produced by or specifically for programming networks, our competitors include national commercial broadcast television networks, local commercial broadcast television stations, the Public Broadcasting Service and local public television stations, pay-per-view programs, and other cable programming networks.  Some of these competitors have exclusive contracts with motion picture studios or independent motion picture distributors or own film libraries.  Internet-based video content distributors may also emerge as competitors for the acquisition of content or the rights to distribute content.

 

Competition for Advertising Revenue.  The financial success of our programming businesses also depends in part upon unpredictable and volatile factors beyond our control, such as viewer preferences, the strength of the advertising market, the quality and appeal of the competing programming and the availability of other entertainment activities.  A shift in viewer preferences could cause our programming to decline in popularity, which could cause a decline in advertising revenues and could jeopardize renewal of our contracts with distributors.  A decline in available advertising expenditures by advertisers could also cause a decline in advertising revenues regardless of a change in viewer preferences, especially from increased competition by other programmers providing similar programming.  In addition, our competitors may have more flexible programming arrangements, as well as greater volumes of production, distribution and capital resources, and may be able to react more quickly to shifts in tastes and interests.

 

Newsday

 

Newsday operates in a highly competitive market which may adversely affect advertising and circulation revenues.  Newsday faces significant competition for advertising revenue from a variety of media sources.  The most direct source of competition is other newspapers that reach a similar audience in the same geographic area.  Newsday also faces competition from magazines, shopping guides, yellow pages, websites, broadcast and cable television, radio and direct marketing; particularly if those media sources provide advertising services that could substitute for those provided by Newsday within the same geographic area.  Specialized websites for real estate, automobile and help wanted advertising have become increasingly competitive with our newspapers and websites for classified advertising and further development of additional targeted websites is likely.

 

Newsday and the newspaper industry generally have also experienced significant declines in advertising and circulation revenue as circulation and readership levels continue to be adversely affected by competition from new media news formats and less reliance on newspapers by some consumers as a source of news, particularly younger consumers.  A prolonged decline in circulation would have a material adverse effect on the rate and volume of advertising revenues.

 

16



Table of Contents

 

Clearview Cinemas

 

Clearview Cinemas as a smaller, regional film exhibitor, competes with a number of large theater chains and independent theaters with respect to acquiring licenses to films and attracting patrons.  The principal competitive factors in obtaining films from distributors include licensing terms, seating capacity, location, prestige of the theater chain and of the particular theater, and quality of projection and sound equipment.  Most of our competitors are in a stronger competitive position than Clearview Cinemas based upon these factors.  We believe that the principal competitive factors in attracting film audiences are the availability of marketable films, the location of theaters, theater comfort and environment, projection and sound quality, 3D capability, level of service and ticket price.  The theater exhibition industry also faces competition from other motion picture exhibition delivery systems, such as network, syndicated, on-demand and pay television; DVD, and other home video systems; DVD by mail services such as NetFlix and Red Box and the availability of films over the Internet.

 

Regulation

 

Cable Television

 

Our cable television systems are subject to extensive federal, state and local regulations.  Our systems are regulated under congressionally imposed uniform national guidelines, first set in the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 and amended by the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

 

The following paragraphs describe the existing legal and regulatory requirements that are most significant to our business today.

 

Franchising.  The Federal Cable Act requires cable operators to obtain a franchise in order to provide cable service.  Regulatory responsibility for awarding franchises rests with state and local officials, who also regulate other aspects of the cable business such as system construction, customer service, and approval of transfers of cable franchises.  Federal law prohibits our franchising authorities from granting an exclusive cable franchise to us, and they cannot unreasonably refuse to award an additional franchise to compete with us.  New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have enacted comprehensive cable regulation statutes as well as consumer protection laws that are applicable to cable operators and other providers of video service.  These laws also apply to video services offered by Verizon and AT&T.  New Jersey and Connecticut permit video franchises on a statewide and more streamlined basis.  Verizon has taken advantage of the statewide franchise in New Jersey and AT&T has taken advantage of the statewide franchise in Connecticut.  Cablevision is also eligible for streamlined franchising under these laws.  Cablevision received and is operating under a statewide franchise in Connecticut.  In New York our systems are franchised by localities, subject to state-mandated franchise guidelines and state approval.  State and local franchising authority, however, must be exercised consistently with federal law.  The Federal Cable Act authorizes states or localities to franchise our cable television systems on a non-exclusive basis but sets limits on their franchising powers.  It sets a ceiling on franchising authorities imposing franchise fees of not more than 5% of our gross revenues from our provision of cable television service.  It prohibits states and localities from requiring us to carry specific programming services, and protects us in seeking franchise renewals by limiting the factors a franchising authority may consider and requiring a due process hearing before denial of renewal.

 

Rate Regulation.  In some of our cable television systems, the rates for our basic service package are subject to regulation by franchising authorities in accordance with FCC rules.  These franchising authorities may also regulate the rates we charge for the installation and lease of the equipment used by subscribers to receive the basic service package, including equipment that may also be used to receive other packages of programming, and the installation and monthly use of connections for additional

 

17



Table of Contents

 

television sets.  However, we are permitted to compute our regulated equipment rates by aggregating our costs of broad categories of equipment at the franchise, system, regional or company level.

 

Rate regulation, is by federal law, eliminated if one of our cable systems is subject to “effective competition” from another multichannel video programming distributor.  We have been successful in obtaining from the FCC such an “effective competition” finding in the majority of our communities covering more than 88 percent of our customer base and are currently seeking such a finding in other communities.

 

Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent.  We are required by federal law to carry local broadcast stations (“must-carry”), or, at the option of a local broadcaster, to obtain the broadcaster’s prior consent for retransmission of its signal.  A substantial number of local broadcast stations currently carried by our cable television systems have elected to negotiate for retransmission consent.  Our cable television systems have reached retransmission consent agreements with most broadcast stations they currently carry, but the potential remains for broadcast station carriage to be discontinued if such an agreement is not renewed following its expiration.  FCC rules require that we simulcast must-carry stations in analog as long as we carry any programming in analog on our system.  Those rules expire in 2012 unless extended.

 

In the wake of publicized disputes between several cable operators and broadcasters, several members of Congress have expressed concern that current retransmission consent requirements and practices have had a negative effect on consumers, and stated that it is time for Congress to reexamine those requirements.  Other members of Congress have suggested that binding arbitration may be an appropriate means of resolving such disputes.

 

Ownership Limitations.  Congress has required the FCC to set a national limit on the number of subscribers a cable company can serve, and a limit (the “channel occupancy rule”) on the number of channels on a cable system that can be occupied by video programming services in which the operator of that system has an attributable interest.  The FCC established a national limit of 30% on the number of multichannel video households that a single cable operator can serve, but that limit was invalidated by a federal court in August 2009.  The FCC is also reviewing its channel occupancy rule, following a 2001 federal court decision that held unconstitutional the FCC’s prior rule establishing a 40% limit.

 

Set Top Boxes.  The FCC requires cable operators to separate security from non-security functions in new digital set-top boxes deployed on or after July 1, 2007, in order to permit the manufacture and sale of these devices by third parties.  The FCC also requires cable operators to allow consumers to connect televisions and other consumer electronics equipment with a slot for a security card directly to digital cable systems to enable receipt of one-way digital programming without need for a set-top box.  We are in compliance with these mandates.  In addition, the FCC requires cable operators to use CableCARD security devices in their own set top boxes.  We are operating under a waiver of this requirement pending our commitment to deploy downloadable security solutions.  That waiver expires on December 31, 2010.  The Commission recently has indicated an interest in taking further steps to promote a retail market for cable service navigation devices, including requirements to facilitate access to Internet-based video offerings via their television sets, which may entail further mandates in connection with the support and deployment of set top boxes.

 

PEG and Leased Access.  Localities may require free access to public, educational or governmental (“PEG”) channels on our systems.  In addition to providing PEG channels, we must make a limited number of commercial leased access channels available to third parties (including parties with potentially competitive video services) at regulated rates.  The FCC established a new formula for calculation of the price we can charge for the use of leased access channels that could effectively require us to make at least some leased access channels available at no charge, and established additional leased access customer service standards and procedures for addressing complaints regarding alleged violations of the leased access rules, but these rules were stayed by a federal court and were also rejected by the Office of

 

18



Table of Contents

 

Management and Budget.  The FCC is deciding what action to take with regard to the challenged rules.  The FCC also sought comment on whether the cap on the rates we can charge leased access programmers should also apply to programmers transmitting predominantly sales presentations or program length commercials.

 

Digitization of PEG and Other Channels.  In order to efficiently use bandwidth and continue with the ongoing process of migrating subscribers from analog to digital television technology, many cable operators, including Cablevision, have changed the transmission formats they use to provide PEG or other channels from analog to digital and have deleted duplicative analog versions of some channels. Some municipalities in New York have challenged our digitization of PEG channels in State court and at the Public Service Commission.  The FCC is investigating cable operators’ digitization of channels.  Some members of Congress have also expressed concern regarding channel digitization.  To date, we have not been subject to any order requiring us to reverse or modify our digitization of PEG or other channels.  While we believe that our digitization of channels complies with applicable law, we cannot predict the outcome of these challenges and proceedings.

 

Tiering/A La Carte.  In franchise areas not subject to effective competition, federal law requires us to establish a “basic service” package consisting, at a minimum, of all local broadcast signals that we carry, as well as, if the locality requests, all public, educational and governmental access programming carried by our systems.  All subscribers are required to purchase this tier as a condition of gaining access to any other programming that a cable operator provides.  We are also required to carry leased access programming on a tier that is available to more than fifty percent of our subscribers.  Federal law does not otherwise dictate the number or nature of programming services carried by a cable operator on each service tier.  See “Item 3.  Legal Proceedings — Programming Litigation”.

 

Some members of Congress have proposed requiring cable operators to offer programming services on an unbundled basis rather than as part of a tier or to provide a greater array of tiers to give subscribers the option of purchasing a more limited number of programming services.  The FCC also has indicated an interest in requiring cable operators to offer programming services in this “a la carte” manner, and in February 2006 released a report finding “substantial benefits” in the a la carte model for delivering video programming.

 

Pole Attachments.  The FCC has authority to regulate utility company rates for the rental of pole and conduit space used by companies, including cable operators, to provide cable, telecommunications, services, and Internet access services, unless states establish their own regulations in this area.  The states in which we operate have adopted such regulations.  Utilities must provide nondiscriminatory access to any pole, conduit or rights-of-way controlled by the utility.

 

The FCC is considering raising the rates that cable operators may be charged to attach their wires to utility poles to provide Internet access service.  While the states in which we operate have established their own rates, such action by the FCC could affect regulation by the states.  Moreover, state commissions may take actions to increase pole attachment rates.

 

Program Access.  The “program access” provisions of the Federal Cable Act prohibit cable operators from entering into exclusive distribution contracts for satellite-delivered video programming services in which a cable operator holds an attributable interest, such as certain of Rainbow Media Holdings’ services, unless the FCC first approves the exclusive arrangement.  This prohibition is in effect until October 2012, but it has been challenged in federal court.   The program access rules also prohibit a cable operator from unduly or improperly influencing the decision of an affiliated satellite-delivered programmer to sell to an unaffiliated distributor and bar the programmer from discriminating in the prices, terms, and conditions of sale of a programming service.

 

The FCC recently adopted an order extending the program access rules to terrestrially-delivered programming created by cable operator-affiliated programmers.  The new rules could compel the

 

19



Table of Contents

 

licensing of such programming in response to a complaint by a multichannel video programming distributor.  A successful complaint by a competitor against Cablevision or an affiliated programming entity may require the company to relinquish exclusive rights to some or all of the programming to which we currently enjoy exclusive distribution.  Prior to the adoption of this order, Verizon and AT&T had each filed a program access complaint at the FCC against us and Madison Square Garden challenging their respective lack of access to our terrestrially-delivered HD programming of the MSG networks.  We are vigorously contesting both complaints.

 

Program Carriage.  The FCC’s program carriage rules govern disputes between cable operators and programming services over the terms of carriage.  We may not require a programming service to grant us a financial interest or exclusive carriage rights as a condition of its carriage on our cable systems, and we may not discriminate against programming services in the terms and conditions of carriage on the basis of their affiliation or nonaffiliation with us.

 

The FCC is considering changes to its program carriage rules, which govern disputes between programmers and distributors over carriage terms, including a proposal to require programmers and distributors to enter into “last best offer” style arbitration when they cannot reach agreement over carriage terms.  In addition, several states are also considering or have considered legislation that would mandate such arbitration for carriage disputes.  None of the states in which we operate have adopted such legislation.

 

Exclusive Access to Multitenant Buildings.  The FCC has prohibited cable operators from entering into or enforcing agreements with owners of multitenant buildings under which the operator is the only provider of multichannel video service with access to the building.  The FCC is considering whether to extend these prohibitions to exclusive marketing and bulk sales arrangements.

 

Privacy.  In the course of providing service, we collect certain personally identifiable information about our subscribers.  Our collection and use of this information is subject to a variety of Federal and state privacy requirements, including those imposed specifically on cable operators by the Communications Act.  The Communications Act requires a cable operator to give each subscriber annual written notice of the personally identifiable information that will be collected and the manner in which it is used, and sets limits, subject to certain exceptions, on our disclosure of that information to third parties.  As cable operators begin to provide interactive and other advanced services, additional privacy considerations may arise.

 

Other Regulation.  We are also subject to various other regulations, including the blackout of certain network, sports and syndicated programming; prohibitions on transmitting obscene programming; and limitations on telemarketing practices and the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail and fax messages.  The FCC has also recommended that Congress prohibit the availability of violent programming, including cable programming, during the hours when children are likely to be watching, and retains the authority to promulgate any additional rules necessary to promote diversity of information sources at such time as it determines that cable systems with 36 or more activated channels are available to 70 percent of households within the United States and subscribed to by 70 percent of the households to which such systems are available.

 

The FCC also regulates us in such areas as technical standards, and emergency alerts.  The FCC is also tasked by Congress to promote compatibility between cable television systems and other consumer electronic equipment.  The FCC is currently reviewing proposed standards for compatibility of digital equipment.

 

The FCC also imposes restrictions on our origination cablecasting channels and imposes rules governing political broadcasts; ownership and control of cable home wiring in single family residences and multiple dwelling units; closed captioning on networks we carry; and limitations on advertising contained in children’s programming that we carry.

 

20



Table of Contents

 

The FCC requires us to pay annual “regulatory fees” that we may pass on to subscribers.  Other fees are assessed for the FCC licenses we hold for business radio, cable television relay systems and earth stations.  These fees may not be collected from our subscribers.

 

Federal Copyright Regulation.  We are required to pay copyright royalty fees to receive a statutory compulsory license to carry broadcast television signals.  The U.S. Copyright Office has increased our royalty fees from time to time and has, at times, recommended to Congress changes in the statutory compulsory licenses for cable television carriage of broadcast signals.  Such changes, if made, could adversely affect the ability of our cable television systems to obtain such programming, and could increase the cost of such programming.

 

High-Speed Data

 

Regulatory Classification.  Broadband Internet access services like Optimum Online are classified by the FCC as “information services” for regulatory purposes.  The FCC has traditionally subjected information services to a lesser degree of regulation than “telecommunications services,” which are offered to the public for a fee on a common carrier basis.  Some parties have asked the FCC to reverse this determination and classify broadband Internet access services as “telecommunications services.” If the FCC changes the classification of these services, our Optimum Online service could be subject to substantially greater regulation.

 

Access Obligations and “Net Neutrality.”  The FCC is conducting a proceeding in which it has proposed to adopt binding and enforceable “net neutrality” rules that would require broadband providers allow users to access all lawful Internet content and run lawful applications using their broadband connections and connect and use lawful devices on the network, and that would prohibit such providers from discriminating against, or in favor of, any content, application, or service and disclose information on their network management practices.  Providers would be able to engage in reasonable network management as defined by the rules.  Some parties have advocated that the FCC also require broadband providers to make transmission capacity available to third parties on a resale basis.  The FCC is also considering these issues as part of the National Broadband Plan that Congress has directed the agency to develop.  The outcome of the FCC’s proceeding could affect the regulatory obligations imposed on Optimum Online.

 

The FCC recently asserted authority to enforce its network neutrality principles, finding that certain network management practices by Comcast were unreasonable and discriminated against Internet content providers.  The FCC ordered Comcast to submit a compliance plan.  Comcast has appealed the FCC’s order.

 

Other Regulation.   Currently, the Communications Act’s limitations on our collection and disclosure of cable subscribers’ personal information also apply with respect to broadband Internet access service provided by cable operators.  Broadband Internet access service is also subject to other federal and state privacy laws applicable to electronic communications.  Additionally, providers of broadband Internet access services like Optimum Online must comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (“CALEA”), which requires providers to make their services and facilities accessible for law enforcement intercept requests.  Various other federal and state laws apply to providers of services that are accessible through Optimum Online, including copyright laws, prohibitions on obscenity, and a ban on unsolicited commercial e-mail.  Online content provided by Cablevision is also subject to these laws.

 

Other forms of regulation of high-speed Internet access service currently being considered by the FCC, Congress or state legislatures include consumer protection requirements; additional privacy obligations, consumer service standards; access for persons with disabilities; and requirements to protect personally identifiable customer data from theft.

 

21



Table of Contents

 

VoIP

 

The FCC, Congress, and several state commissions are examining issues surrounding the provision of VoIP services like Optimum Voice.  The FCC has initiated a generic rulemaking proceeding concerning the legal and regulatory implications of IP-based services, including VoIP services.  The FCC has determined that VoIP services with certain characteristics, including cable-provided VoIP services, are interstate services subject to federal rather than state jurisdiction.  The FCC’s determination was upheld by a federal court of appeals although the court found that the FCC’s order did not squarely address the classification of cable-provided VoIP services.  Although the FCC has not concluded its generic rulemaking proceeding, it has applied some regulations to VoIP service providers like Optimum Voice that have certain characteristics (these services are known as “interconnected VoIP services”).  Some states have asserted the right to regulate cable VoIP service, including imposing fees to support state universal service programs, on the theory that in-state calls can be accurately distinguished from interstate calls.

 

Universal Service.  Interconnected VoIP services such as Optimum Voice must contribute to the federal fund used to subsidize voice services provided to low income households and rural areas and other communications services provided to schools, libraries, and rural health care providers (the “universal service fund”).  The amount of universal service contribution for interconnected VoIP service providers is based on a percentage of revenues earned from end user interstate services.  Optimum Voice allocates its end user revenues and remits payments to the universal service fund in accordance with the FCC order.  The FCC’s application of universal service to interconnected VoIP providers was upheld by a federal court.

 

Local Number Portability.  The FCC requires interconnected VoIP service providers and their “numbering partners” ensure that their customers have the ability to port their telephone numbers when changing providers to or from the interconnected VoIP service.  The FCC also clarified that local exchange carriers and commercial mobile radio service providers have an obligation to port numbers to interconnected VoIP service providers upon a valid port request.  Interconnected VoIP service providers are also required to contribute to federal funds to meet the shared costs of local number portability (“LNP”) and the costs of North American Numbering Plan Administration.

 

The FCC is reviewing the implementation of LNP for interconnected VoIP services, including whether all current numbering requirements should be extended to interconnected VoIP services.  The FCC has also adopted new rules requiring providers to port telephone numbers for residential customers within 24 hours.

 

Intercarrier Compensation.  The FCC is currently reviewing whether to revise the current regime governing payments among providers of voice services for the exchange of calls between and among different networks (“intercarrier compensation”), including whether and under what terms to extend this regime to VoIP traffic.

 

Other Regulation.  Interconnected VoIP service providers are required to provide enhanced 911 emergency services to their customers; protect customer proprietary network information from unauthorized disclosure to third parties; comply with disability access requirements and service discontinuance obligations that apply to telecommunications carriers; and pay regulatory fees to support the FCC.  Interconnected VoIP service providers are also required to be compliant with CALEA standards and with federal and state regulations on telemarketing and the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail and fax messages.

 

22



Table of Contents

 

Other Services

 

Cablevision may provide other services and features over its cable system, such as games and interactive advertising, that may be subject to a range of federal, state, and local laws such as privacy and consumer protection regulations.  Cablevision also maintains various websites that provide information and content regarding its businesses and offer merchandise for sale.  The operation of these websites is also subject to a similar range of regulations.

 

Optimum Lightpath

 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted to remove barriers to entry in the local telephone market that continues to be dominated by the Bell Operating Companies (“BOCs”) and other ILECs by preempting state and local laws that restrict competition and by requiring ILECs to provide competitors, such as cable operators and long distance companies, with nondiscriminatory access and interconnection to the BOC and ILEC networks and access to certain portions of their communications networks (known as network elements) at cost-based rates.  The 1996 Telecommunications Act entitles our Optimum Lightpath subsidiary to certain rights, but as a telecommunications carrier, it also subjects Optimum Lightpath to regulation by the FCC and the states.  Optimum Lightpath’s designation as a telecommunications carrier also results in other regulations that may affect Optimum Lightpath and the services it offers.

 

Interconnection and Intercarrier Compensation.  The 1996 Telecommunications Act requires Optimum Lightpath to interconnect directly or indirectly with other telecommunications carriers.  Under the FCC’s intercarrier compensation rules, Optimum Lightpath is entitled, in some cases, to compensation from carriers when it terminates their originating calls on its network and in other cases is required to compensate another carrier for utilizing that carrier’s network to terminate traffic.  The FCC has adopted limits on the amounts of compensation that may be charged for certain types of traffic.  As noted above, the FCC is considering revising its intercarrier compensation rules.

 

Universal Service.  Optimum Lightpath is required to contribute to federal and state universal service funds.  Currently, the FCC assesses Optimum Lightpath for payments and other subsidies on the basis of a percentage of interstate revenue it receives from certain customers.  The FCC has placed limits on the mark-up carriers may place on the universal service line items on their customer bills.  Optimum Lightpath is required to contribute to the New York Targeted Accessibility Fund (“TAF”), which includes state support for universal service.  State universal service funds have not been established in other states in which Optimum Lightpath operates.  It is possible that the FCC will propose significant changes in both universal service and intercarrier compensation as part of the National Broadband Plan that Congress has directed the agency to develop.

 

Other Regulation.  Optimum Lightpath is also subject to other FCC requirements in connection with the interstate long distance services it provides, including protecting customer proprietary network information from unauthorized disclosure to third parties; meeting certain notice requirements in the event of service termination; compliance with disabilities access requirements; compliance with CALEA standards; the payment of fees to fund local number portability administration and the North American Numbering Plan; and the payment of regulatory fees to support the FCC.  Optimum Lightpath’s communications with its customers are also subject to FCC, Federal Trade Commission, and state regulations on telemarketing and the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail and fax messages.

 

State Regulation.  Optimum Lightpath is also subject to regulation by the state commissions in each state in which it provides service.  In order to provide service, Optimum Lightpath must seek approval from each such state commission and may at times require local approval to construct facilities.  Optimum Lightpath is currently authorized and provides service in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.  Optimum Lightpath’s regulatory obligations vary from state to state and include some or all of the following requirements: filing tariffs (rates, terms and conditions); filing operational, financial, and customer service reports; seeking approval to transfer the assets or capital stock of the telephone company; seeking approval to issue stocks, bonds, and other forms of indebtedness of the telephone

 

23



Table of Contents

 

company; reporting customer service and quality of service requirements; making contributions to state universal service support programs; geographic build-out; and other matters relating to competition.

 

Programming and Entertainment

 

Cable television programming networks, such as those owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, are regulated by the FCC in certain respects if they are affiliated with a cable television system operator like Cablevision.  Other FCC regulations, although imposed on cable television operators and satellite operators, affect programming networks indirectly.

 

Closed Captioning and Advertising Restrictions on Children’s Programming.  Certain of Rainbow Media Holdings’ networks must provide closed-captioning of programming for the hearing impaired, and its programming and Internet websites intended primarily for children 12 years of age and under must comply with certain limits on advertising.

 

Indecency and Obscenity Restrictions.  Cable operators and other distributors are prohibited from transmitting obscene programming, and our affiliation agreements generally require us to refrain from including such programming on our networks.

 

Program Access.  The “program access” provisions of the Federal Cable Act generally require us to make Rainbow Media Holdings’ satellite-delivered video programming available to competing multichannel video programming providers, such as DBS providers and telephone companies on nondiscriminatory prices, terms and conditions, subject to certain exceptions specified in the statute and the FCC’s rules.  Under FCC rules in effect until October 2012, Rainbow Media Holdings cannot have exclusive contracts with cable operators for these services.  This prohibition has been challenged in federal court.  The program-access rules do not generally cover terrestrially-delivered programming created by cable-system affiliated programmers such as Rainbow Media Holdings.

 

The FCC recently extended the program access rules to terrestrially-delivered programming created by cable operator-affiliated programmers such as Rainbow Media Holdings.  The new rules would compel the licensing of such programming in response to a complaint by a multichannel video programming distributor if the complainant can demonstrate that the lack of such programming, undue influence by the cable operator affiliate, or discrimination in the price, terms, or conditions for such programming significantly hinders or prevents the distributor from providing satellite cable programming.  These new rules could require Rainbow Media Holdings to make some of its terrestrial programming services available to competing multichannel video programming providers on nondiscriminatory prices, terms and conditions.

 

The FCC is seeking comment on a proposal to allow a cable operator to seek repeal of the exclusivity ban prior to 2012 with respect to programming it owns, in markets where the cable operator faces competition from other video distributors; revisions to the program access complaint procedures; whether cable programming networks require programming distributors to purchase and carry undesired programming in return for the right to carry desired programming and, if so, whether such arrangements should be prohibited; and whether it would be appropriate to extend the Commission’s program access rules, including the exclusive contract prohibition, to terrestrially delivered cable-affiliated programming and programming delivered in high definition format.

 

Effect of “Must-Carry” Requirements.  The FCC’s implementation of the statutory “must-carry” obligations requires cable and DBS operators to give broadcasters preferential access to channel space.  This reduces the amount of channel space that is available for carriage of Rainbow Media Holdings’ networks by cable television systems and DBS operators.

 

Satellite Carriage.  All satellite carriers must under federal law offer their service to deliver Rainbow Media Holdings and its competitor programming networks on a nondiscriminatory basis (including by

 

24



Table of Contents

 

means of a lottery).  A satellite carrier cannot unreasonably discriminate against any customer in its charges or conditions of carriage.  Numerous competing satellite services today provide transponders that Rainbow Media Holdings could use to deliver its programming networks.

 

MVDDS

 

An indirect subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings owns a 90% interest in DTV Norwich, LLC (“DTVN”), which holds MVDDS licenses in 45 metropolitan areas including New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Cleveland.  These licenses are for a 10-year term, with a renewal expectancy based on a showing of “substantial service” within each of these market areas at the end of 5 and 10 years into the license period.  The five-year substantial service deadline for all of the licenses occurred in 2009.  As of December 31, 2009, DTVN has not provided substantial service within its licensed areas.  DTVN has sought a waiver and extension of its obligation to demonstrate that it is providing substantial service five years into the license period.  The FCC requested comment on DTVN’s request, and those of other MVDDS licensees seeking relief, in July 2009, and the matter remains pending.  We cannot provide any assurance that the FCC will grant the waiver necessary to retain the renewal expectancy.  Separately, the FCC’s rules prohibit us from holding more than a 20% interest in the MVDDS license in the New York market because of common ownership with our cable systems there.  Absent a waiver of this restriction by the FCC, we would need to divest all or a sufficient portion of our investment in the New York City MVDDS license or take other actions in order to comply with the restriction.  We currently hold such a waiver, which, unless extended, will expire on October 4, 2010.  We cannot provide any assurance that the FCC will grant a further waiver necessary for the Company to retain its interest in the New York license.

 

Employees and Labor Relations

 

As of December 31, 2009, we had 16,795 full-time, 3,670 part-time and 7,475 temporary employees of which 937, 2,040 and 4,402, respectively, were covered under collective bargaining agreements.  These amounts included employees of our Madison Square Garden segment of 1,327 full-time, 1,967 part-time and 6,259 temporary employees of which 363, 1,406 and 4,334, respectively, were covered under collective bargaining agreements.  We believe that our relations with employees are satisfactory.

 

Available Information and Website

 

We make available free of charge, through our investor relations section at our website, http://www.cablevision.com/investor/index.jsp, our Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

 

The public may read and copy any materials the Company files with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20549.  In addition, the public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.  The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at its web site http://www.sec.gov.

 

Item 1A.                                                   Risk Factors

 

If the world-wide financial turmoil continues, the volatility and disruptions in the capital and credit markets could adversely affect our business, including affecting the cost of new capital, our ability to refinance our scheduled debt maturities and meet our other obligations as they come due.

 

The capital and credit markets have been experiencing volatility and disruption.  In the fourth quarter of 2008, the volatility and disruption reached extreme levels.  At times, the markets have exerted extreme

 

25



Table of Contents

 

downward pressure on stock prices and upward pressure on the cost of new debt capital and have severely restricted credit availability for most issuers.

 

The market disruptions have been accompanied by a broader economic downturn, which has led to lower demand for our products, such as cable television services and entertainment, as well as lower levels of television and newspaper advertising, and increased incidence of customers’ inability to pay for the services we provide.  Continuation or worsening of these conditions may further adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

 

We rely on the capital markets, particularly for offerings of debt securities, as well as the credit markets, to meet our financial commitments and liquidity needs.  Continued disruptions in the capital and credit markets could adversely affect our ability to refinance on satisfactory terms, or at all, our scheduled debt maturities and could adversely affect our ability to draw on our revolving credit facilities.

 

A continuation or worsening of the economic downturn may impact our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions in our indentures, credit facilities and agreements governing our other indebtedness and may impact our ability to pay our indebtedness as it comes due.  If we do not repay our debt obligations when they become due and do not otherwise comply with the covenants and restrictions in our indentures, credit facilities and agreements governing our other indebtedness, we would be in default under those agreements, and the debt incurred under those agreements could then be declared immediately due and payable.  In addition, any default under our indentures, credit facilities or agreements governing our other indebtedness could lead to an acceleration of debt under other debt instruments that contain cross acceleration or cross-default provisions.  If the indebtedness under our indentures, credit facilities and our other debt instruments were accelerated, we would not have sufficient assets to repay amounts due thereunder.  To avoid a default, we could be required to defer capital expenditures, sell assets, seek strategic investments from third parties or reduce or eliminate dividend payments or other discretionary uses of cash.  However, if such measures were to become necessary, there can be no assurance that we would be able to sell sufficient assets or raise strategic investment capital sufficient to meet our scheduled debt maturities as they come due.  In addition, any significant reduction in necessary capital expenditures could adversely affect our ability to retain our existing customer base and obtain new customers which would adversely affect our future operating results, cash flows and financial position.

 

The disruptions in the capital and credit markets have also resulted in higher interest rates on publicly issued debt securities and increased costs under credit facilities.  Continuation of these disruptions would increase our interest expense, adversely affecting our results of operations and financial position.

 

Our access to funds under our revolving credit facilities is dependent on the ability of the financial institutions that are parties to those facilities to meet their funding commitments.  Those financial institutions may not be able to meet their funding commitments if they experience shortages of capital and liquidity or if they experience excessive volumes of borrowing requests within a short period of time. Moreover, the obligations of the financial institutions under our revolving credit facilities are several and not joint and, as a result, a funding default by one or more institutions does not need to be made up by the others.

 

Longer term volatility and continued disruptions in the capital and credit markets as a result of uncertainty, changing or increased regulation of financial institutions, reduced alternatives or failures of significant financial institutions could adversely affect our access to the liquidity needed for our businesses in the longer term.  Such disruptions could require us to take measures to conserve cash until the markets stabilize or until alternative credit arrangements or other funding for our business needs can be arranged.

 

26



Table of Contents

 

We have substantial indebtedness and we are highly leveraged, which reduces our capability to withstand adverse developments or business conditions.

 

We have incurred substantial amounts of indebtedness to finance operations, to upgrade our cable plant and acquire other cable television systems, programming networks, sources of programming and other businesses.  We also have incurred substantial indebtedness in order to offer our new or upgraded services to our current and potential customers and to pursue activities outside our core businesses such as our acquisitions of The Wiz, Clearview Cinemas, Newsday and our development of Rainbow DBS. In 2006, CSC Holdings incurred $3.5 billion of debt, approximately $3.0 billion of which was distributed to Cablevision to fund a $10 per share dividend on its common stock and approximately $414 million of which was used to repay existing indebtedness, including interest, fees and expenses.  We may continue to incur substantial amounts of debt in the future.  At December 31, 2009, our total indebtedness aggregated approximately $11.4 billion.  Because of our substantial indebtedness, we are highly leveraged and we will continue to be highly leveraged.  This means that our payments on our borrowings are significant in relation to our revenues and cash flow.  This leverage exposes us to significant risk in the event of downturns in our businesses (whether through competitive pressures or otherwise), in our industries or in the economy generally, because although our cash flows would decrease in this scenario, our required payments in respect of indebtedness would not.

 

We have in past periods incurred substantial losses from continuing operations, we have a significant stockholders’ deficiency, and we may in the future incur net losses which could be substantial, which may reduce our ability to raise needed capital.

 

We have in the past reported losses from continuing operations and we may in the future incur significant operating losses.  Significant operating losses may limit our ability to raise needed financing, or to do so on favorable terms, as such losses could be taken into account by the organizations that issue investment ratings on our indebtedness.

 

A lowering or withdrawal of the ratings assigned to our debt securities by ratings agencies may further increase our future borrowing costs and reduce our access to capital.

 

The debt ratings for our notes are below the “investment grade” category, which results in higher borrowing costs as well as a reduced pool of potential purchasers of our debt as some investors will not purchase debt securities that are not rated in an investment grade rating category.  In addition, there can be no assurance that any rating assigned will remain for any given period of time or that a rating will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency, if in that rating agency’s judgment, future circumstances relating to the basis of the rating, such as adverse changes, so warrant.  A lowering or withdrawal of a rating may further increase our future borrowing costs and reduce our access to capital.

 

Our financial performance may be harmed by the significant and credible risks of competition in our Telecommunications Services segment.

 

Competition in our various business segments could adversely affect our business and financial results and our ability to service our debt.  This risk is heightened by the rapid technological change inherent in our business and the need to acquire, develop and adopt new technology to differentiate our products and services from our competitors.  We may need to anticipate far in advance which technology we should use for the development of new products and services or the enhancement of existing products and services.  In addition, changes in the regulatory and legislative environments may result in changes to the competitive landscape.

 

Our cable systems compete with a variety of video programming distribution systems, including broadcast television stations, direct broadcast satellite systems, incumbent telephone companies, satellite master antenna television systems, and open video systems operators like RCN.  We face intense competition from two incumbent telephone companies. Verizon and AT&T, which offer video

 

27



Table of Contents

 

programming in addition to their voice and high-speed Internet access services, compete across all of our telecommunications products.  Verizon has constructed fiber to the home network plant that passes a significant number of households in our service area (currently about a third of the households according to our estimates).  Verizon has obtained authority to provide video service (it already has or needs no authority to provide phone and data services) for a majority of these homes passed, on a statewide basis in New Jersey and in numerous local franchises in New York, and all of New York City.  Verizon has so far not sought to obtain authority for video service in Connecticut.  AT&T offers video service in competition with us in most of our Connecticut service area.  Each of these companies has significantly greater financial resources than we do.  The attractive demographics of our service territory make this region a desirable location for investment in video distribution technologies by these companies.  This intense competition affects our ability to add or retain customers and could lead to pressure upon our pricing of telecommunications services and our ability to expand services purchased by our customers.  Cable systems also compete with the entities that make digital video recorded movies and programs available for home rental or sale.  Video competition to cable systems is also possible from the delivery of video programming over the Internet directly to subscribers and using wireless technologies.  Cellular phone providers have also begun to offer video content for viewing on wireless handsets.

 

Our high-speed data offering to consumers faces intense competition from other providers of high-speed Internet access including services offered by local telephone providers such as Verizon and AT&T.  These lines may also be used to offer video programming in competition with our cable systems. In addition, DBS providers have tested the use of certain spectrum to offer satellite-based high-speed data services.  Cellular phone providers are also increasing the speeds of their Internet access offerings, and the FCC has made other radio spectrum available for wireless high-speed Internet access.

 

Our voice service offerings to consumers face intense competition from other providers of voice services, including carriers such as Verizon and AT&T and other competitive providers of voice services, as well as VoIP providers like Vonage.

 

Our ability to meet our obligations under our indebtedness may be restricted by limitations on our subsidiaries’ ability to send us funds.

 

Cablevision’s sole subsidiary is CSC Holdings.  CSC Holdings’ principal subsidiaries include various entities that own cable television systems and interests in programming networks.  Cablevision’s ability to pay interest on and repay principal of its outstanding indebtedness is dependent primarily upon the operations of CSC Holdings and its subsidiaries and the distributions or other payments of the cash they generate to Cablevision in the form of distributions, loans or advances.  Similarly, CSC Holdings’ ability to pay interest and principal on its indebtedness is dependent in part on distributions from its subsidiaries.  The Company’s subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities and have no obligation, contingent or otherwise, to pay any amounts due on the Company’s public indebtedness or to make any funds available to the Company to do so.  Rainbow National Services LLC, which we refer to as RNS, is a party to a credit agreement and indentures that contain various financial and operating covenants that restrict the payment of dividends or other distributions.  In addition, Newsday LLC is a party to a credit agreement that contains various financial and operating covenants that restrict the payment of dividends or other distributions.  In addition, our subsidiaries’ creditors, including trade creditors, in the event of a liquidation or reorganization of any subsidiary, would be entitled to a claim on the assets of such subsidiaries, including any assets transferred to those subsidiaries, prior to any of our claims as a stockholder and those creditors are likely to be paid in full before any distribution is made to us.  To the extent that we are a creditor of a subsidiary, our claims could be subordinated to any security interest in the assets of that subsidiary and/or any indebtedness of that subsidiary senior to that held by us.

 

28



Table of Contents

 

Our ability to incur debt and the use of our funds are limited by significant restrictive covenants in financing agreements.

 

Our credit facilities and debt instruments contain various financial and operating covenants that, among other things, require the maintenance of financial ratios and restrict the relevant borrower’s ability to incur debt from other sources and to use funds for various purposes, including investments in some subsidiaries.  Violation of these covenants could result in a default that would permit the parties who have lent money under such credit facilities and such other debt instruments to:

 

·                  restrict the ability to borrow undrawn funds under such credit facilities, and

·                  require the immediate repayment of the borrowings thereunder.

 

These events would be likely to have a material adverse effect on the value of our debt and equity securities.

 

We will need to raise significant amounts of funding over the next several years to fund capital expenditures, repay existing obligations and meet other obligations and the failure to do so successfully could adversely affect our business.  We may also engage in extraordinary transactions that involve the incurrence of large amounts of debt.

 

Our business is very capital intensive.  Operating and maintaining our cable television plant requires significant amounts of cash payments to third parties.  Capital expenditures for our businesses were $810.3 million, $909.1 million and $781.3 million, in 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively, and primarily include payments for consumer premises equipment, such as new digital video cable boxes and modems, as well as infrastructure and capital expenditures related to our cable and Optimum Lightpath telecommunications networks, in addition to the capital requirements of our other businesses.  We expect these capital expenditures to continue to be significant over the next several years, as we continue to market our services such as digital video, high-speed data and voice (including enhancements to our service offerings such as WiFi) to our customers.  Some of our subsidiaries have substantial future capital commitments in the form of long-term contracts that require substantial payments over a long period of time.  For example, our various program rights obligations almost always involve multi-year contracts that are difficult and expensive to terminate.  We will not be able to generate sufficient cash internally to both meet these obligations and repay our indebtedness at maturity.  Accordingly, we will have to do one or more of the following:

 

·                  refinance existing obligations to extend maturities,

·                  raise additional capital, through debt or equity issuances or both,

·                  cancel or scale back current and future spending programs, or

·                  sell assets or interests in one or more of our businesses.

 

However, you should not assume that we will be able to refinance existing obligations or raise any required additional capital or to do so on favorable terms.  Borrowing costs related to future capital raising activities may be significantly higher than our current borrowing costs and we may not be able to raise additional capital on favorable terms, or at all, if unsettled conditions in financial markets continue to exist.  If we are unable to pursue our current and future spending programs, we may be forced to cancel or scale back those programs.  Our choice of which spending programs to cancel or reduce may be limited.  Failure to successfully pursue our capital expenditure and other spending plans could materially and adversely affect our ability to compete effectively.  It is possible that in the future we may also engage in extraordinary transactions and such transactions could result in the incurrence of substantial additional indebtedness.

 

29



Table of Contents

 

The success of our programming businesses depends upon the availability of programming that is adequate in quantity and quality, and our ability to obtain carriage of that programming.

 

Rainbow Media Holdings’ programming networks compete in two highly competitive markets.  First, our programming networks compete with other programming networks to obtain distribution on cable television systems and other multichannel video programming distribution services.  Second, the success of our programming businesses depends upon the availability of programming that is adequate in quantity and quality.  In particular, the national entertainment networks depend upon the availability of films and television programming in their niche markets.

 

The national entertainment networks are parties to film rights agreements giving the networks the right to exhibit the licensed films during specified window periods.  These rights agreements expire at varying times and may be terminated by the other party if we are not in compliance with the terms of the agreement.  In addition, our programming businesses are parties to affiliation agreements with distributors that require those programming businesses to deliver programming that meets certain standards as to quantity, quality or content.  In 2005, we settled litigation with Time Warner, which attempted to terminate its affiliation agreement with AMC, based on the allegation that AMC had changed its programming format.  To the extent that we do not or are not able to satisfy the quantity, quality or content standards set forth in our affiliation agreements, operators may have the right to terminate those affiliation agreements.  We cannot assure you that our programming businesses will ultimately be successful in negotiating renewals of their rights, program supply or affiliation agreements or in negotiating adequate substitute rights, program supply or affiliation agreements in the event that their rights, program supply or affiliation agreements expire or are terminated.

 

Our Newsday business has suffered operating losses historically and such losses could continue in the future.

 

Newsday suffered an operating loss of $12.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2009 and $403.3 million for the period July 30, 2008 through December 31, 2008, which included impairments of goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets, and certain long-lived intangible assets in 2008 of $402.4 million.  In addition, it recognized operating losses, included in the financial statements of the former owner, in 2007, 2006, and 2005 of approximately $83.7 million, $232.8 million and $351.0 million, respectively, which included impairments of goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets of $130.0 million, $275.3 million and $432.6 million, respectively.  Operating losses could continue in the future.  In connection with the formation of a company through which we have an approximately 97.2% interest in Newsday, its subsidiary, Newsday LLC incurred $650.0 million of indebtedness under a senior secured credit facility and $630.0 million of the proceeds of these borrowings were paid to Newsday’s former owner, Tribune Company.  These borrowings are guaranteed by CSC Holdings. In addition, Cablevision issued approximately $682.0 million of its 8% senior notes due 2012 (fair value of $650.0 million at date of contribution) to Newsday Holdings LLC.  Newsday LLC has agreed that it will maintain Cablevision, CSC Holdings, or RNS senior notes or cash balances in excess of the amount of borrowings outstanding under the senior secured credit facility until it matures.

 

Demand for advertising, increased competition and declines in circulation affect Newsday.

 

A majority of the revenues of our Newsday business are from advertising.  Expenditures by advertisers generally reflect economic conditions and declines in national and local economic conditions affect demand for advertising and the levels of advertising revenue for Newsday.

 

Newsday operates in a highly competitive market which may adversely affect advertising and circulation revenues.  Newsday faces significant competition for advertising revenue from a variety of media sources.  The most direct source of competition is other newspapers that reach a similar audience in the same geographic area.  Newsday also faces competition from magazines, shopping guides, yellow pages, websites, broadcast and cable television, radio and direct marketing; particularly if those media sources provide advertising services that could substitute for those provided by Newsday within the same geographic area.  Specialized websites for real estate, automobile and help wanted advertising have become increasingly competitive with our newspapers and websites for classified advertising and further development of additional targeted websites is likely.

 

30



Table of Contents

 

Newsday and the newspaper industry generally have also experienced significant declines in advertising and circulation revenue as circulation and readership levels continue to be adversely affected by competition from new media news formats and less reliance on newspapers by some consumers as a source of news, particularly younger consumers.  A prolonged decline in circulation would have a material adverse effect on the rate and volume of advertising revenues.

 

A significant amount of our book value consists of intangible assets that may not generate cash in the event of a voluntary or involuntary sale.

 

At December 31, 2009, we reported $9.3 billion of consolidated total assets, of which $2.8 billion were intangible.  Intangible assets include franchises from city and county governments to operate cable television systems, affiliation agreements, and goodwill.  While we believe that the carrying values of our intangible assets are recoverable, you should not assume that we would receive any cash from the voluntary or involuntary sale of these intangible assets, particularly if we were not continuing as an operating business.  We urge you to read carefully our consolidated financial statements contained herein, which provide more detailed information about these intangible assets.

 

We are controlled by the Dolan family.  As a result of their control of us, the Dolan family has the ability to prevent or cause a change in control or approve, prevent or influence certain actions by us.

 

Cablevision has two classes of common stock:

 

·                  Class B common stock, which is generally entitled to ten votes per share and is entitled collectively to elect 75% of the Cablevision Board of Directors, and

·                  Class A common stock, which is entitled to one vote per share and is entitled collectively to elect the remaining 25% of the Cablevision Board of Directors.

 

As of February 19, 2010, the Dolan family, including trusts for the benefit of members of the Dolan family, collectively owned all of Cablevision’s Class B common stock, less than 3% of Cablevision’s outstanding Class A common stock and approximately 70% of the total voting power of all the outstanding Cablevision common stock.  Of this amount, our Chairman, Charles F. Dolan, beneficially owned approximately 46% of Cablevision’s outstanding Class B common stock, less than 1% of Cablevision’s outstanding Class A common stock and approximately 31% of the total voting power of all the outstanding Cablevision common stock.  The members of the Dolan family holding Class B common stock have executed a voting agreement that has the effect of causing the voting power of the Class B stockholders to be cast as a block with respect to the election of the directors elected by the Class B stockholders and any change of control transaction.  The Dolan family is able to prevent a change in control of Cablevision and no person interested in acquiring Cablevision will be able to do so without obtaining the consent of the Dolan family.  On May 2, 2007, Cablevision entered into a merger agreement with an entity owned by the Dolan Family Group.  The terms of the merger agreement provided that an entity owned by the Dolan Family Group would be merged with and into Cablevision and, as a result, Cablevision would continue as the surviving corporation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of an entity controlled by the Dolan Family Group.  This transaction would have involved the incurrence of approximately $13.9 billion of indebtedness of Cablevision, CSC Holdings and their subsidiaries.  Following the announcement of the execution of the merger agreement, the long-term debt ratings of CSC Holdings’ senior and subordinated debt were placed on credit watch with negative implications.  On October 24, 2007, that transaction was submitted to a vote of Cablevision’s shareholders and did not receive shareholder approval. Subsequently, the parties terminated the merger agreement pursuant to its terms.  This transaction would have resulted in holders of our Class A common stock receiving a cash payment for their shares and members of the Dolan family owning all of the equity interests in the

 

31



Table of Contents

 

surviving corporation.  In connection with this proposed merger transaction and prior proposals contemplating similar going private transactions, members of the Dolan family stated that they were only interested in pursuing their proposed transaction and would not sell their stake in Cablevision.  There can be no assurances that the Dolan family will not propose, undertake or consummate a similar transaction in the future.

 

As a result of the Dolan family’s ownership of all of the Class B common stock, the Dolan family has the power to elect all the directors of Cablevision subject to election by holders of Class B common stock.  Those directors constitute a majority of Cablevision’s board of directors.  In addition, Dolan family members may control stockholder decisions on matters in which holders of all classes of Cablevision common stock vote together as a single class.  These matters could include the amendment of some provisions of Cablevision’s certificate of incorporation and the approval of fundamental corporate transactions.  In addition, the affirmative vote or consent of the holders of at least 66-2/3% of the outstanding shares of the Class B common stock, voting separately as a class, is required to approve the authorization or issuance of any additional shares of Class B common stock.  Furthermore, the Dolan family members also have the power to prevent any amendment, alteration or repeal of any of the provisions of Cablevision’s certificate of incorporation that adversely affects the powers, preferences or rights of the Class B common stock.

 

One purpose of the voting agreement referred to above is to consolidate Dolan family control of Cablevision.  The Dolan family requested Cablevision’s Board of Directors to exercise Cablevision’s right, as a “controlled company”, to opt-out of the New York Stock Exchange listing standards that, among other things, require listed companies to have a majority of independent directors on their board and to have an independent corporate governance and nominating committee.  Cablevision’s Board of Directors and the directors elected by holders of Class A common stock each approved this request on March 8, 2004.

 

Programming costs of our cable television systems are increasing and we may not have the ability to pass these increases on to our subscribers.

 

Programming costs paid by our cable television systems are one of our largest categories of expenses.  These costs have increased rapidly and are expected to continue to increase, particularly with respect to costs for sports programming and broadcast networks.  We may not be able to pass programming cost increases on to our subscribers due to the increasingly competitive environment.  If we are unable to pass these increased programming costs on to our subscribers, our operating results would be adversely affected.

 

We face intense competition in obtaining content for our programming businesses.

 

Rainbow Media Holdings’ programming businesses compete with other programming networks to secure desired programming.  Most of Rainbow Media Holdings’ programming is obtained through agreements with other parties that have produced or own the rights to such programming.  Competition for and choices of programming will increase as the number of programming networks increases.  Other programming networks that are affiliated with programming sources such as movie or television studios, film libraries or sports teams may have a competitive advantage over Rainbow Media Holdings in this area.

 

Our business is subject to extensive government regulation and changes in current or future laws or regulations could restrict our ability to operate our business as we currently do.

 

Our cable television and telecommunications businesses are heavily regulated and operate pursuant to detailed statutory and regulatory requirements at the federal, state and local level.  See “Item 1. Business - Regulation”.  The FCC and state and local governments extensively regulate the basic rates we may charge our customers for certain of our video services.  They also regulate us in other ways that affect the

 

32



Table of Contents

 

daily conduct of our video delivery and video programming businesses, our telephone business and, possibly in the future, our high-speed Internet access business.  In addition, our businesses are dependent upon governmental authorizations to carry on their operations. See discussion under “Item 1. Business -Regulation”.

 

Legislative enactments, court actions and federal, state, and local regulatory proceedings frequently modify the terms under which we offer our services and operate.  The results of these legislative, judicial and administrative actions may materially adversely affect our business or results of operations.  New requirements giving third parties access to our network or other assets, for example, could materially affect our ability to compete.  Changes to regulations from which we benefit and on which we depend to run our businesses also could materially affect our operations.  Any action with respect to these or other matters by the courts, Congress, the FCC, the states of New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, or concerted action by local regulators, the likelihood or extent of which we cannot predict, could have a material adverse effect on us.

 

Our current franchises are non-exclusive and our franchisors need not renew our franchises.

 

Our cable television systems are operated primarily under non-exclusive franchise agreements with state or municipal government franchising authorities, with the approval of state cable television authorities.  Consequently, our business is dependent on our ability to obtain and renew our franchises.  Although we have never lost a franchise as a result of a failure to obtain a renewal, our franchises are subject to non renewal or termination under some circumstances.  In some cases, franchise agreements have not been renewed by the expiration date, and we operate under temporary authority routinely granted from the state while negotiating renewal terms with the franchise authorities. As of December 31, 2009, our ten largest franchise areas comprised approximately 48% of our total basic video customers and of those, five franchises, including New York City, comprising approximately 959,000 basic video customers, are expired.  We are currently operating in these franchise areas under temporary authority and we are engaged in or have completed negotiations to renew these franchises.

 

The MSG Distribution could result in significant tax liability.

 

We have received a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to the effect that, among other things, the MSG Distribution, and certain related transactions, will qualify for tax-free treatment under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

 

Although a private letter ruling from the IRS generally is binding on the IRS, if the factual representations or assumptions made in the letter ruling request are untrue or incomplete in any material respect, we will not be able to rely on the ruling.  Furthermore, the IRS will not rule on whether a distribution satisfies certain requirements necessary to obtain tax-free treatment under the Code.  Rather, the ruling is based upon our representations that these conditions have been satisfied, and any inaccuracy in such representations could invalidate the ruling.

 

If the MSG Distribution does not qualify for tax-free treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then, in general, we would be subject to tax as if we had sold the Madison Square Garden common stock in a taxable sale for its fair value.  Cablevision stockholders would be subject to tax as if they had received a distribution equal to the fair value of Madison Square Garden common stock that was distributed to them, which generally would be treated as a taxable dividend.  It is expected that the amount of any such taxes to Cablevision’s stockholders and us would be substantial.

 

33



Table of Contents

 

The tax rules applicable to the MSG Distribution may restrict us from engaging in certain corporate transactions or from raising equity capital beyond certain thresholds for a period of time after the MSG Distribution.

 

To preserve the tax-free treatment of the MSG Distribution to Madison Square Garden’s and Cablevision’s stockholders, under a tax disaffiliation agreement between Cablevision and Madison Square Garden, which is an exhibit to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for the two-year period following the MSG Distribution, we will be subject to restrictions with respect to our activities, including restrictions relating to certain issuances or repurchases of Cablevision’s common stock, asset sales, mergers and liquidations.

 

These restrictions may limit Cablevision’s ability during that two-year period to pursue strategic transactions of a certain magnitude that involve the issuance or acquisition of Cablevision’s stock or engage in new businesses or other transactions that might increase the value of our business.  These restrictions may also limit our ability to raise significant amounts of cash through the issuance of stock, especially if Cablevision’s stock price were to suffer substantial declines, or through the sale of certain of our assets.

 

We may not enjoy all of the benefits of scale that we achieved with Madison Square Garden under our corporate structure.

 

Prior to the MSG Distribution we shared benefits of scope and scale in costs and expenses resulting from various factors including financial reporting, costs associated with complying with federal securities laws (including compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), tax administration, legal and human resources related functions.  While we entered into agreements with Madison Square Garden that will govern a number of our commercial and other relationships after the MSG Distribution, those arrangements do not fully capture the benefits we enjoyed as a result of common ownership prior to the MSG Distribution.  We will now have to carry a relatively larger share of our administrative and other overhead expenses.  The loss of these benefits as a consequence of the MSG Distribution could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

In connection with the MSG Distribution, we will rely on Madison Square Garden’s performance under various agreements.

 

In connection with the MSG Distribution, we entered into various agreements with Madison Square Garden, including a distribution agreement, a tax disaffiliation agreement, a transition services agreement, an employee matters agreement and certain related party arrangements.  These agreements govern our relationship with Madison Square Garden subsequent to the MSG Distribution and provide for the allocation of employee benefits, taxes and certain other liabilities and obligations attributable to periods prior to the MSG Distribution.  These agreements also include arrangements with respect to transition services and a number of on-going commercial relationships.  The distribution agreement includes an agreement that we and Madison Square Garden agree to provide each other with indemnities with respect to liabilities arising out of the businesses we transferred to Madison Square Garden.  We are also party to other arrangements with Madison Square Garden, such as affiliation agreements covering the MSG networks and Fuse.  We and Madison Square Garden will rely on the other to perform its obligations under these agreements.  If Madison Square Garden were to breach or to be unable to satisfy its material obligations under these agreements, including a failure to satisfy its indemnification obligations, we could suffer operational difficulties or significant losses.

 

We share certain key executives and directors with Madison Square Garden which means those executives will not devote their full time and attention to our affairs.

 

As a result of the MSG Distribution, our President and Chief Executive Officer, James L. Dolan, also serves as the Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden and our Vice Chairman, Hank J. Ratner, serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Madison Square Garden.  This arrangement is similar

 

34



Table of Contents

 

to the historical situation whereby Messrs. Dolan and Ratner have served as senior officers of both companies.  As a result, since the MSG Distribution, two senior officers of the Company are not devoting their full time and attention to the Company’s affairs.  In addition, eight members of our Board of Directors are also directors of Madison Square Garden.

 

Our overlapping directors and executive officers with Madison Square Garden may result in the diversion of corporate opportunities and other potential conflicts.

 

Our Board of Directors has adopted a policy that acknowledges that directors and officers of the Company may also be serving as directors, officers, employees, consultants or agents of Madison Square Garden and its subsidiaries and that the Company may engage in material business transactions with such entities.  The Company renounced its rights to certain business opportunities and the new policy provides that no director or officer of the Company who is also serving as a director, officer, employee, consultant or agent of Madison Square Garden and its subsidiaries will be liable to the Company or its stockholders for breach of any fiduciary duty that would otherwise exist by reason of the fact that any such individual directs a corporate opportunity (other than certain limited types of opportunities set forth in the policy) to Madison Square Garden or any of its subsidiaries instead of the Company, or does not refer or communicate information regarding such corporate opportunities to the Company.  The policy expressly validates certain contracts, agreements, assignments and transactions (and amendments, modifications or terminations thereof) between the Company and Madison Square Garden and/or any of its subsidiaries and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, provides that the actions of the overlapping directors or officers in connection therewith are not breaches of fiduciary duties owed to the Company, any of its subsidiaries or their respective shareholders.

 

Item 1B.                  Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 2.                    Properties

 

We own our headquarters building located in Bethpage, New York with approximately 558,000 square feet of space, and certain other real estate where our earth stations, headend equipment and microwave receiving antennae are located primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, aggregating approximately 653,000 square feet of space.

 

On February 9, 2010, we distributed to our stockholders all of the outstanding common stock of Madison Square Garden, a company which owns the sports, entertainment and media businesses previously owned and operated by the Madison Square Garden segment of Cablevision.  Madison Square Garden owns the Madison Square Garden Arena (with a maximum capacity of approximately 21,000 seats) and the Theater at Madison Square Garden complex (approximately 5,600 seats) in New York City comprising approximately 985,600 square feet, a training center in Greenburgh, New York with approximately 105,000 square feet of space, and a theater complex (approximately 3,600 seats) in Chicago comprising approximately 72,600 square feet.  Madison Square Garden leased other significant properties in New York City which include approximately 346,000 square feet housing Madison Square Garden’s administrative offices, approximately 577,000 square feet comprising Radio City Music Hall (approximately 6,000 seats) and approximately 57,000 square feet comprising the Beacon Theatre (approximately 2,800 seats).

 

We generally own all assets (other than real property) related to our cable television operations, including our program production equipment, headend equipment (towers, antennae, electronic equipment and satellite earth stations), cable system plant (distribution equipment, amplifiers, subscriber drops and hardware), converters, test equipment, tools and maintenance equipment.  We also generally own our service and other vehicles.

 

35



Table of Contents

 

We lease real estate where certain of our business offices, earth stations, transponders, microwave towers, warehouses, headend equipment, hub sites, program production studios, access studios and microwave receiving antennae are located, aggregating approximately 2,209,000 square feet of space primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  We lease several business offices in Woodbury, New York with an aggregate of approximately 120,000 square feet of space and business offices in Jericho, New York with approximately 621,000 square feet of space.  Of the amounts above, we currently sublease approximately 288,000 square feet of space to third party tenants and approximately 33,000 square feet of space is currently vacant.  In addition, Newsday leases properties aggregating approximately 916,000 square feet of space which includes approximately 527,000 square feet relating to its administrative and printing facility in Melville, New York.  Of this amount, approximately 192,000 square feet of space is vacant primarily relating to Newsday consolidating its two primary operation’s facilities into one effective December 27, 2009.

 

Clearview Cinemas leases 39 theaters (22 in New Jersey, 15 in New York and two in Pennsylvania) with approximately 36,000 seats and owns an additional nine theaters (five in New York and four in New Jersey) with approximately 5,800 seats.

 

We believe our properties are adequate for our use.

 

Item 3.                                                             Legal Proceedings

 

Patent Litigation

 

Cablevision is named as a defendant in certain lawsuits claiming infringement of various patents relating to various aspects of the Company’s businesses.  In certain of these lawsuits other industry participants are also defendants.  In certain of these lawsuits the Company expects that any potential liability would be the responsibility of the Company’s equipment vendors pursuant to applicable contractual indemnification provisions.  To the extent that the allegations in these lawsuits have been analyzed by the Company at the current stage of their proceedings, the Company believes that the claims are without merit and intends to defend the actions vigorously.  The final disposition of these actions is not expected to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated financial position.

 

EchoStar Contract Dispute

 

In 2005, subsidiaries of the Company entered into agreements with EchoStar and its affiliates by which EchoStar Media Holdings Corporation acquired a 20% interest in VOOM HD Holdings LLC (“VOOM HD”) and EchoStar Satellite LLC (“EchoStar Satellite”) agreed to distribute VOOM on its DISH Network for a 15-year term.  The affiliation agreement with EchoStar Satellite for such distribution provides that if VOOM HD fails to spend $100 million per year (subject to reduction to the extent that the number of offered channels is reduced to fewer than 21), up to a maximum of $500 million in the aggregate, on VOOM, EchoStar Satellite may seek to terminate the agreement under certain circumstances.  On January 30, 2008, EchoStar Satellite purported to terminate the affiliation agreement, effective February 1, 2008, based on its assertion that VOOM HD had failed to comply with this spending provision in 2006.  On January 31, 2008, VOOM HD sought and obtained a temporary restraining order from New York Supreme Court for New York County prohibiting EchoStar Satellite from terminating the affiliation agreement.  In conjunction with its request for a temporary restraining order, VOOM HD also requested a preliminary injunction and filed a lawsuit against EchoStar Satellite asserting that EchoStar Satellite did not have the right to terminate the affiliation agreement.  In a decision filed on May 5, 2008, the court denied VOOM HD’s motion for a preliminary injunction.  On or about May 13, 2008, EchoStar Satellite ceased distribution of VOOM on its DISH Network.  On May 27, 2008, VOOM HD amended its complaint to seek damages for EchoStar’s improper termination of the affiliation agreement.  On June 24, 2008, EchoStar Satellite answered VOOM HD’s amended complaint and asserted certain counterclaims.  On July 14, 2008, VOOM HD replied to EchoStar Satellite’s counterclaims.  The Company believes that

 

36



Table of Contents

 

the counterclaims asserted by EchoStar Satellite are without merit.  The lawsuit filed by VOOM HD remains pending.

 

Programming Litigation

 

On September 20, 2007, an antitrust lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Cablevision and several other defendants, including other cable and satellite providers and programming content providers.  The complaint alleges that the defendants have violated Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act by agreeing to the sale and licensing of programming on a “bundled” basis and by offering programming in packaged tiers rather than on an “a la carte” basis.  The plaintiffs, purportedly on behalf of a nationwide class of cable and satellite subscribers, sought unspecified treble monetary damages and injunctive relief to compel the offering of channels to subscribers on an “a la carte” basis.  On December 3, 2007, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint containing principally the same allegations as the plaintiffs’ original complaint.  On December 21, 2007, the defendants filed joint motions to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim and on the ground that the plaintiffs lacked standing to assert the claims in the amended complaint.  The district court granted the defendants’ motions on March 13, 2008, but granted the plaintiffs leave to amend their claims.

 

On March 20, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.  The second amended complaint contains many of the same allegations as the plaintiffs’ original complaint, with limited modifications to address certain of the deficiencies identified in the court’s March 13 order.  Two of the principal modifications were (1) to reform the relief requested from an order requiring programmers and cable providers to offer channels on an “a la carte” basis, to an order requiring programmers and cable providers to offer the option to purchase on an unbundled basis; and (2) to allege that certain non-defendant programmers have been excluded from the market.  On April 22, 2008, the defendants filed joint motions to dismiss the second amended complaint.  The court denied those motions on June 26, 2008.  On August 1, 2008, Cablevision filed an answer to the second amended complaint.  On May 4, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint in order to remove any allegation that non-defendant programmers have been excluded from the market as a result of the practices being challenged in the lawsuit.  In conjunction with the filing of the third amended complaint, on May 1, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a motion to adjudicate that foreclosure of the non-defendant programmers is not a necessary element of the plaintiffs’ antitrust injury.  On June 12, 2009, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the third amended complaint.  On October 15, 2009, the court granted the defendants’ motion and dismissed the third amended complaint with prejudice.  The plaintiffs have filed a notice of appeal.

 

Shareholder Lawsuit

 

On January 29, 2010, Ronald Gross, an alleged shareholder of Cablevision, filed a shareholder derivative action purportedly on behalf of Cablevision in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  The complaint alleges an “interlocking” directorship in violation of Section 8 of the Clayton Act because a Cablevision director, Thomas V. Reifenheiser, is also a director of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation (“Citadel”), Lamar Advertising Company (“Lamar”) and Mediacom Communications Corporation (“Mediacom”).  The plaintiff alleges that Cablevision, Citadel, Lamar and Mediacom all compete with one another because each relies on advertising revenues.  The complaint names as defendants all of the current members of the Cablevision Board and asserts claims under Section 8 of the Clayton Act and for breach of fiduciary duties.  Defendants have not yet responded to the complaint.

 

Other Legal Matters

 

In addition to the matters discussed above, the Company is party to various lawsuits, some involving claims for substantial damages.  Although the outcome of these other matters cannot be predicted with certainty and the impact of the final resolution of these other matters on the Company’s results of operations in a particular subsequent reporting period is not known, management does not believe that the

 

37



Table of Contents

 

resolution of these other lawsuits will have a material adverse effect on the financial position of the Company or the ability of the Company to meet its financial obligations as they become due.

 

Item 4.                                                             Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

Not applicable.

 

PART II

 

Item 5.                                                             Market for the Registrants’ Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

The information called for by Item 201(d) of Regulation S-K under Item 5 is hereby incorporated by reference to Cablevision’s definitive proxy statement for its Annual Meeting of Shareholders anticipated to be held in May 2010 or if such definitive proxy statement is not filed with the Commission prior to April 30, 2010, to an amendment to this report on Form 10-K filed under cover of Form 10-K/A.

 

Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “CVC.”

 

Price Range of Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock

 

The following tables set forth for the periods indicated the intra-day high and low sales prices per share of the Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock as reported on the NYSE:

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Year Ended December 31, 2009:

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

19.36

 

$

9.34

 

Second Quarter

 

21.58

 

12.61

 

Third Quarter

 

26.07

 

17.03

 

Fourth Quarter

 

26.43

 

22.19

 

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

Year Ended December 31, 2008:

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

28.90

 

$

20.68

 

Second Quarter

 

$

27.38

 

$

21.53

 

Third Quarter

 

$

33.00

 

$

19.04

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

25.37

 

$

11.00

 

 

As of February 19, 2010, there were 1,209 holders of record of Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock.

 

There is no public trading market for the Cablevision NY Group Class B common stock, par value $.01 per share.  As of February 19, 2010, there were 25 holders of record of Cablevision NY Group Class B common stock.

 

All membership interests in CSC Holdings are held by Cablevision.

 

38



Table of Contents

 

Stockholder Dividends and Distributions

 

Cablevision

 

On February 9, 2010, Cablevision distributed to its stockholders all of the outstanding common stock of Madison Square Garden, a company which owns the sports, entertainment and media businesses previously owned and operated by the Company’s Madison Square Garden segment.  The MSG Distribution took the form of a distribution by Cablevision of one share of Madison Square Garden Class A Common Stock for every four shares of Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock held of record on the Record Date and one share of Madison Square Garden Class B Common Stock for every four shares of Cablevision NY Group Class B Common Stock held of record on the Record Date.

 

On February 25, 2009, May 6, 2009, July 29, 2009 and November 2, 2009, the Board of Directors of Cablevision declared a cash dividend of $0.10 per share paid on March 31, 2009, June 9, 2009, September 1, 2009 and December 4, 2009, respectively, to stockholders of record on both its Cablevision NY Group (“CNYG”) Class A common stock and CNYG Class B common stock as of March 9, 2009, May 18, 2009, August 10, 2009 and November 13, 2009, respectively.

 

On August 15, 2008 and November 5, 2008, the Board of Directors of Cablevision declared a cash dividend of $0.10 per share paid on September 18, 2008 and December 9, 2008, respectively, to stockholders of record on both its Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock and Cablevision NY Group Class B common stock as of August 26, 2008 and November 17, 2008, respectively.

 

The dividend payments on all outstanding shares of Cablevision common stock and certain common stock equivalents aggregated approximately $123.5 million and $64.9 million in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

 

In addition, up to approximately $4.4 million will be paid when, and if, restrictions lapse on restricted shares outstanding.

 

Cablevision may pay dividends on its capital stock only from surplus as determined under Delaware law.  If dividends are paid on the Cablevision NY Group common stock, holders of the Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock and Cablevision NY Group Class B common stock are entitled to receive dividends, and other distributions in cash, stock or property, equally on a per share basis, except that stock dividends with respect to Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock may be paid only with shares of Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock and stock dividends with respect to Cablevision NY Group Class B common stock may be paid only with shares of Cablevision NY Group Class B common stock.

 

Cablevision’s and CSC Holdings’ senior debentures and CSC Holdings’ senior subordinated debt instruments restrict the amount of dividends and distributions in respect of any shares of capital stock that can be made.

 

CSC Holdings

 

During the year ended December 31, 2009, CSC Holdings paid dividends to Cablevision, its sole shareholder, aggregating approximately $790.1 million.  The proceeds were used to fund: (i) Cablevision’s repurchase of a portion of Cablevision’s April 2009 Notes pursuant to the tender offer completed in March 2009 ($196.3 million); (ii) Cablevision’s repayment of the remaining outstanding balance of its April 2009 Notes upon their maturity ($303.7 million); (iii) Cablevision’s dividends paid on March 31, 2009, June 9, 2009, September 1, 2009 and December 4, 2009; (iv) Cablevision’s interest payments on certain of its senior notes; and (v) Cablevision’s payments for the acquisition of treasury shares related to statutory minimum tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of certain restricted shares.

 

39



Table of Contents

 

In September and December 2008, CSC Holdings paid cash dividends of $23.0 million and $29.1 million, respectively to Cablevision.

 

CSC Holdings may make distributions on its membership interests only if sufficient funds exist as determined under Delaware law.

 

Recent Sales and Use of Proceeds

 

The table below sets forth information regarding purchases made by the Company of its Cablevision NY Group Class A Common Stock during the year ended December 31, 2009.

 

 

 

Total
Number of
Shares (or
Units)
Purchased

 

Average
Price Paid per
Share
(or Unit)

 

Total Number of
Shares (or Units)
Purchased as Part of
Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs

 

Maximum number
(or Approximate
Dollar Value) of
Shares (or Units) that
May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1-30, 2009

 

629,802

 

$

18.73

 

N/A

 

N/A

 

July 1-31, 2009

 

29,713

 

$

19.41

 

N/A

 

N/A

 

November 1-30, 2009

 

153,736

 

$

24.73

 

N/A

 

N/A

 

 

In June, July and November 2009, 1,527,991, 63,400 and 320,000, respectively, of restricted shares issued to employees of the Company vested.  To fulfill the employee’s statutory minimum tax withholding obligations for the applicable income and other employment taxes of $11.8 million, $0.6 million and $3.8 million, 629,802, 29,713 and 153,736 of these shares were surrendered to the Company.  The 813,251 acquired shares have been classified as treasury stock.

 

40



Table of Contents

 

Cablevision NY Group Stock Performance Graph

 

The chart below compares the performance of the Company’s Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock with the performance of the Russell 3000 Index and a Peer Group Index by measuring the changes in Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock prices from December 31, 2004 through December 31, 2009.  As required by the SEC, the values shown assume the reinvestment of all dividends.  Because no published index of comparable media companies currently reports values on a dividends-reinvested basis, the Company has created a Peer Group Index for purposes of this graph in accordance with the requirements of the SEC.  The Peer Group Index is made up of companies that engage in cable television operations as a significant element of their business, although not all of the companies included in the Peer Group Index participate in all of the lines of business in which the Company is engaged and some of the companies included in the Peer Group Index also engage in lines of business in which the Company does not participate.  Additionally, the market capitalizations of many of the companies included in the Peer Group are quite different from that of the Company.  The common stocks of the following companies have been included in the Peer Group Index for 2009:  Comcast Corporation, Insight Communications Inc. (through December 16, 2005 after which date Insight Communications was no longer a public company), Mediacom Communications Corporation and Time Warner Cable Inc. (from January 5, 2007 when Time Warner Cable stock began trading).  Charter Communications, Inc. has been excluded from the Peer Group Index as a result of its filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 27, 2009.  The chart assumes $100 was invested on December 31, 2004 in each of the Company’s Cablevision NY Group Class A common stock, the Russell 3000 Index and in a Peer Group Index and reflects reinvestment of dividends on a quarterly basis and market capitalization weighting.

 

Comparison of Cumulative Five Year Total Return

 

 

 

 

Dec 2004

 

Dec 2005

 

Dec 2006

 

Dec 2007

 

Dec 2008

 

Dec 2009

 

CABLEVISION NY GROUP CLASS A

 

100

 

94

 

171

 

147

 

102

 

160

 

RUSSELL 3000 INDEX

 

100

 

106

 

123

 

129

 

81

 

104

 

PEER GROUP

 

100

 

78

 

128

 

83

 

73

 

83

 

 

41



Table of Contents

 

Item 6.                                                             Selected Financial Data

 

The operating and balance sheet data included in the following selected financial data table have been derived from the consolidated financial statements of Cablevision and CSC Holdings.  The selected financial data presented below should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements of Cablevision and CSC Holdings and the notes thereto included in Item 8 of this Report.

 

 

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2009

 

2008

 

2007

 

2006

 

2005

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands, except per subscriber, per unit and per share data)

 

Operating Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues, net

 

$

7,773,276

 

$

7,230,116

 

$

6,484,481

 

$

5,828,493

 

$

5,082,045

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical and operating (excluding depreciation, amortization and impairments shown below)

 

3,369,028

 

3,244,369

 

2,891,581

 

2,652,030

 

2,249,367

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

1,893,804

 

1,739,202

 

1,558,728

 

1,471,348

 

1,283,938

 

Restructuring expense (credits)

 

10,728

 

49,883

 

4,733

 

(3,484

)

(537

)

Depreciation and amortization (including impairments)

 

1,084,248

 

1,507,809

 

1,118,888

 

1,119,829

 

1,074,711

 

Operating income

 

1,415,468

 

688,853

 

910,551

 

588,770

 

474,566

 

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense, net

 

(746,638

)

(782,874

)

(900,698

)

(891,674

)

(748,665

)

Equity in net income of affiliates

 

 

 

4,377

 

6,698

 

3,219

 

Gain on sale of programming and affiliate interests, net

 

2,130

 

805

 

183,286

 

 

64,968

 

Gain (loss) on investments, net

 

(981

)

(136,414

)

(214,257

)

290,052

 

(138,312

)

Gain (loss) on equity derivative contracts, net

 

631

 

118,219

 

214,712

 

(214,352

)

135,677

 

Loss on interest rate swap contracts, net

 

(78,868

)

(205,683

)

(76,568

)

(39,360

)

(16,497

)

Write-off of deferred financing costs

 

(3,864

)

 

(2,919

)

(14,083

)

 

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

(69,593

)

(2,424

)

(19,113

)

(13,125

)

 

Miscellaneous, net

 

2,734

 

1,264

 

2,636

 

2,845

 

650

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

 

521,019

 

(318,254

)

102,007

 

(284,229

)

(224,394

)

Income tax benefit (expense)

 

(235,702

)

83,028

 

(78,967

)

140,512

 

82,219

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

285,317

 

(235,226

)

23,040

 

(143,717

)

(142,175

)

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes

 

(18

)

(946

)

195,235

 

26,936

 

236,529

 

Income (loss) before cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle

 

285,299

 

(236,172

)

218,275

 

(116,781

)

94,354

 

Cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, net of taxes

 

 

 

(443

)

(862

)

 

Net income (loss)

 

285,299

 

(236,172

)

217,832

 

(117,643

)

94,354

 

Net loss (income) attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

273

 

8,108

 

321

 

(8,894

)

(5,034

)

Net income (loss) attributable to Cablevision Systems Corporation shareholders

 

$

285,572

 

$

(228,064

)

$

218,153

 

$

(126,537

)

$

89,320

 

 

42



Table of Contents

 

 

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2009

 

2008

 

2007

 

2006

 

2005

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands, except per subscriber, per unit and per share data)

 

INCOME (LOSS) PER SHARE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic net income (loss) per share attributable to Cablevision Systems Corporation shareholders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

$

0.98

 

$

(0.78

)

$

0.08

 

$

(0.50

)

$

(0.49

)

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

 

$

 

$

 

$

0.68

 

$

0.06

 

$

0.80

 

Cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

0.98

 

$

(0.79

)

$

0.76

 

$

(0.45

)

$

0.32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic weighted average common shares (in thousands)

 

291,759

 

290,286

 

288,271

 

283,627

 

281,936

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted net income (loss) per share attributable to Cablevision Systems Corporation shareholders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

$

0.96

 

$

(0.78

)

$

0.08

 

$

(0.50

)

$

(0.49

)

Income (loss) from discontinued operations

 

$

 

$

 

$

0.66

 

$

0.06

 

$

0.80

 

Cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

$

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

0.96

 

$

(0.79

)

$

0.74

 

$

(0.45

)

$

0.32

 

Diluted weighted average common shares (in thousands)

 

298,444

 

290,286

 

294,604

 

283,627

 

281,936

 

Cash dividends declared and paid per common share

 

$

0.40

 

$

0.20

 

$

 

$

10.00

 

$

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amounts attributable to Cablevision Systems Corporation shareholders:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of taxes

 

$

285,590

 

$

(227,118

)

$

23,361

 

$

(142,103

)

$

(136,954

)

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes

 

(18

)

(946

)

195,235

 

16,428

 

226,274

 

Cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, net of taxes

 

 

 

(443

)

(862

)

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

285,572

 

$

(228,064

)

$

218,153

 

$

(126,537

)

$

89,320

 

 

43



Table of Contents

 

 

 

Cablevision Systems Corporation

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2009

 

2008

 

2007

 

2006

 

2005

 

 

 

(Dollars in thousands, except per subscriber, per unit and per share data)

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

9,325,725

 

$

9,383,208

 

$

9,140,577

 

$

9,844,857

 

$

9,851,112

 

Bank debt

 

5,298,750

 

5,653,750

 

4,888,750

 

4,992,500

 

1,851,500

 

Collateralized indebtedness

 

375,832

 

448,738

 

847,154

 

921,574

 

1,170,126

 

Senior notes and debentures

 

5,321,883

 

5,496,292

 

5,495,148

 

5,993,956

 

5,992,760

 

Senior subordinated notes and debentures

 

323,817

 

323,564

 

323,311

 

497,011

 

746,621

 

Notes payable

 

 

6,230

 

1,017

 

18,843

 

15,905

 

Capital lease obligations

 

56,541

 

61,849

 

65,407

 

61,458

 

59,787

 

Total debt

 

11,376,823

 

11,990,423

 

11,620,787

 

12,485,342

 

9,836,699

 

Redeemable noncontrolling interests

 

12,175

 

12,012

 

18,712

 

18,712

 

18,712

 

Stockholders’ deficiency

 

(5,155,955

)

(5,367,991

)

(5,117,570

)

(5,357,730

)

(2,511,785

)

Noncontrolling interest

 

521

 

333

 

571

 

49,059

 

54,579

 

Total deficiency

 

(5,155,434

)

(5,367,658

)

(5,116,999

)

(5,308,671

)

(2,457,206

)

 

 

 

At December 31,

 

 

 

2009

 

2008

 

2007

 

2006

 

2005

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per subscriber data)

 

Statistical Data (Unaudited):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue Generating Units:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Video Customers (1)

 

3,063

 

3,108

 

3,123

 

3,127

 

3,027

 

iO Digital Video Customers

 

2,893

 

2,837

 

2,628

 

2,447

 

1,963

 

Optimum Online High-Speed Data Customers

 

2,568

 

2,455

 

2,282

 

2,039

 

1,694

 

Optimum Voice Customers

 

2,052

 

1,878

 

1,592

 

1,209

 

731

 

Residential Telephone Customers

 

 

 

 

5

 

8

 

Total Revenue Generating Units

 

10,576

 

10,278

 

9,625

 

8,827

 

7,423

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Relationships (2)

 

3,314

 

3,325

 

3,317

 

3,300

 

3,175

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes Passed (3)

 

4,829

 

4,732

 

4,679

 

4,562

 

4,484

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penetration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Video to Homes Passed

 

63.4

%

65.7

%

66.8

%

68.5

%

67.5

%

iO Digital to Basic Penetration

 

94.4

%

91.3

%

84.1

%

78.2

%

64.8

%

Optimum Online to Homes Passed

 

53.2

%

51.9

%

48.8

%

44.7

%

37.8

%

Optimum Voice to Homes Passed

 

42.5

%

39.7

%

34.0

%