Shutting Down Voom HD Networks In U.S. Will Cost Cablevision At Least $45 Million

54 Comments

Last week, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) finally admitted defeat for the once highly ambitious Voom HD service, announcing that it would close the domestic service early next year rather than continue with its own cable systems as the only distributor. Today, the company estimated in an SEC filing that shutting Voom down in the U.S. would result in a Q4 charge of between $45 million and $65 million as it writes down programming, equipment and other assets. Of that, some $25-to $27 million in cash will go to cover programming fees. Cablevision and its Rainbow Media Holdings subsidiary, which includes Voom, blame Dish Network’s decision to drop the service for its demise; Cablevision sued the company for $1 billion for breaching a distribution agreement earlier this year that dated back to when it was EchoStar (NSDQ: SATS).

54 Comments

Mark

I called Cust Ser to ask if my bill was being lowered since I was rec'g 15 fewer channels and got the run around..when I asked to speak to a manager the CSR told me the mngr would say the same thing and refused to transfer me. Everyone I knew loved the Voom channels and now that they are gone my family is shopping for tv/net/phone service. The way I see it, just look at the Knicks and see how poorly they are run from the top down and you get an idea why they could make such a bone-headed decision.

Ray

Write them…We did after calling and talking to a not very helpful rep. We actaully received a call back to our letter. Not that we got more then Dish network blame story. Remember that statistically 1 out of 6000 people will do something like call or write. That means for every letter/call thats sent count for 6000 others. Flood them with letters/calls.

Larry

Cablevision really blew it on this one. I am reminded of Microsoft's tactics: Buy the competition, don't support it, and let it die on the vine. VOOM was the best offering on Cablevision's HD offering. This move by Cablevision is a shame! I, for one, will look for alternative suppliers: ATT, satellite, or something else. Meanwhile I will reduce my service agreement with Cablevision to the basics. Cablevision is predatory and in the long run will lose customers in the long run.

Lee

I just called cablevision and was furious with them about what ive been reading in the comments above about Voom network and Im seriously thinking about going sat. or verizon for my internet connection and cancelling Cable all together. It is truly the only way to get there attention. Hit them in the pocket and they will listen.
The Cable rep. has told me that complaints have been streaming in at 100 per day with angry customers.

TJN

I agree – VOOM was the jewel in Cablevision's HD service – by far the best picture quality – I will sorely miss Gallery HD, Equator, the Movies – an extreme disappointment – bring it back!!

Pat

As someone else so eloquently put it, Voom was "the jewel of the cable TV network", what a crying shame!. Say Hi to the "Idol" generation – no thought required!

Mike

Just canceled Fing cablevision … all three services…. Start a petition to bring back VOOM HD

Eric C. Dummett

I justed called Cablevision to downgrade my TV service, and I told the customer service agent the specific reason for this was the elimination of the Voom HD programming. Interesting, but the CSA was unaware that Cablevision owns Rainbow Media, the parent corp of Voom HD.

"Replacing" the Voom HD channels with pseudo HD versions of channels from HBO, SHO, and Encore does not represent equal value. Now that iOTV has been "dumbed down", I am certainly watching less TV. Maybe that's a good thing. But I will be checking periodically to see if Voom HD is picked up by another provider. And a letter to Cablevision management is next.

What a bone headed move !

John T

I'm finally investigating switching from Cablevision to Verizon FIOS or DirectTV now, thanks to this typical idiotic move caused by the antics of the Junior Jim Dolan. The father, Charles Dolan, knew what he was doing when he single handedly created the entire cable industry and HBO, and of late he alone supported continuing VOOM, with channels that educated customers, with real money watch, but the son, who now runs Cablevision, is a jerk of the first order – but he won this battle and so VOOM is gone, along with the History Channel in HD and other worthwhile Cablevision offerings. James Dolan is a stupid bully who messes up deal after deal (just ask NY Sports fans how awful this dolt is) and his attitude is always 'the public be damned.' I've finally had enough of Jimmy Dolan and his poorly run company. I can understand and almos forgive Charles for giving control of the company to his son, but putting family ahead of the business is going to hurt them big time. The son doesn't deserve the respect his father shows him. It's time for Jim to go.

Valdrin B,Gamer

I am upset that the Gamplay HD channel is not there. VOOM where the only channels I watched besides sports,news,etc. I loved the show Nikki The Knife. Bring it back! Bring it back!

Robert L. Turner

i think Dr. Schneider's comment that the demise of Voom is a major blow to anyone with an education beyond the 8th grade is right on the mark. My wife is an art teacher, and we used to watch and record Artland, Concrete Canvas, and Forger's masterclass for both personal use, and as an educational tool. My daughter and I were huge fans of Equator HD, and often watched Rush HD, and others. The garbage offered on regular network TV (PBS excepted), MTV, and most others doesn't justify watching. Voom offered a breath of fresh air, intelligence, and beauty. Call, write, or e-mail Cablevision to reverse this bad decision. I would pay extra for this service, and if it was marketed properly, so would viewers on many other cable systems. (I happen to be a Cablevision subscriber).

BRING BACK VOOM!

rr

I'm gonna miss Later with Jools Holland (Rave HD). Its a shame that we dole all this money to the like of the Dolans no pun intended and have to be subjected to what they offer. I'd easily replace two or three of my HBO's, Max or SHO for Kung Fu HD, Monster HD or Rave HD.

david jacobs

I am so sorry that the Voom channels have been shut down. I hope they will replace them with new HD programming or reduce prices.

Gary

I wholeheartedly agree that the VOOM stations were the only stations worth watching other than sports and cable news.

Does anyone know the best avenue to lodge our protest to Cablevision, which recently raised rates and now cut back service?

Jason

Seriously, no VOOM is a horrible horrible horrible reality….At least the the MTA holds town hall meetings before they raise rates, downgrade service and F their customers….The difference is that I have to take the train, I don't have to stay with cablevision….goodbye

Li

I am also really PO'd that they just pulled these wonderful original channels without any input from the subscribers who pay for this service. This is outrageous!

I suggest we all email them and downgrade our services to Family Cable. If we all write them and do this together as a protest, they will get the message and maybe bring back our VOOM.

You can also join the Cablevision Advisory Panel, which I wish I had joined earlier. Now I have joined and will write my protest email to:

support@cablevisionpanel.com

Let's get together, maybe somebody who can do websites should start a protest blog????

Rick B

The only reason Cablevision was the only distributor for Voom was that they failed to merchandise it properly. Taking a charge of $45-65 million is real evidence of poor management. Many friends who have Comcast or Time Warner were envious when they saw the programming on Voom. I used to say “Cablevision Rules”. Not anymore. My triple-play monthly bill is over $250. I never complained. But the lack of respect Cablevision shows its customers by not directly communicating with them or soliciting feedback is as insulting as the "replacement programming." As Mike Z said, "Voom was the jewel in the cablevision system". I never considered Fios, Dish or any other service. I will take a serious look now.

Dominica

First MOJO now this! Cablevision sucks! We get recycled movie channels rather than VOOM.

Selka

I have the exact same experience as Kristie Jackson when I called cablevision today–waited on hold for a half hour before speaking to a very rude employee! I'm so PISSED now. I watched Voom channels everyday and cablevision dropped them and has no intention to offer real replacements or reduce of price…. Talking about bad faith this is how Cablevision treats his customers!Mike Z, I'm willing to pay extra to get Voom back but I think I'm leaving cablevision now.

Rhoon

Cable is losing a long time triple pay package customer. I thoroughly enjoyed the informative, educational and original content that Voom offered. We, the customers should have been notified about it and asked if we would have liked to keep Voom and expand on its network. To replace with lower grade commercial TV, is an insult to my intelligence. I feel every customer should call and e-mail Cable to voice our needs, not the Dolan brother’s needs. They are not in tuned with their customer base, which is as varied and interesting as was the content of Voom. We should not let this move on by us without giving Cable a concern that they will be losing all of their customers. Unfortunately it has to be done in a manner that has money attached to our fight. It’s the only language the Dolans understand. Let’s collectively get moving forward to get Voom back on the air. If anyone is interested to do something about this, contact me, zurias@optimum.net

Mike

What a shame. Rush HD was my favorite. I didn't watch too many other Voom channels, but i'm sure they were good.

On Voom's web site, it says nothing about it. My guess (hope) is that Verizon will pick them up. I like Cablevision's not paying extra for HD, but when there's nothing on that I want to watch, I can't justify it as a "savings".

Ruca La Duca

Yes!!!! WTF happened to my favorite channels? I feel robbed! I can't let this go down without a fight.

Kristie Jackson

I am pissed. I turned to my favorite monsters HD channel when I got home from work only to be slapped in the face with elevator music and a horrifying message that it is no longer available. I called them and waited on hold for a half hour before speaking to a very rude cablevision employee. We need to call them and email them relentlessly. We need those voom channels back.

Mike Z

I totally agree with Howard regarding the 8th grade education. Voom was the jewel in the cablevision system. That's what set it apart from Time Warner, Comcast, the Satellite systems, as well as Fios. Like most of us HD TV's & surround sound systems represent significant investments in equipment. I did not do that so that I can watch the American Idol. The specialty of being able to flip on a foreign film, a concert, auto action, exotic travel destination, or even a really bad 50's horror film (which were lots of fun to watch), all commercial free represented in my mind what "Pay TV" is all about. Unique content, with limited repeated distribution so that you could catch up on something that you missed. Instead we are forced to accept B or C rated programming Swill, loaded with commercials, which is broadcast in 4:3 up converted std def and have it passed as HD.

Question to All: Would you be willing to pay extra for Voom channels and possible expansion? If so, how much more it is worth to you. I am curious to see the results & comments.

zoila

Im very dissapointed with cablevision because they promiss more channels in high definition free and the voom channels were great specially the kunfu channel , the Mosnter channel etc. and now I have 15 high def channels less .
I hope that cablevision gives us more high def channels free or else lower your prices . THANKS

PS: THE VOOM CHANNEL WAS GREAT AND IT HAD TRUE HIGH DEF 1080i

Bob

upset. I loved the Kungfu channel a lot. I am upset with cablevision. They should lower our rates since we have less channels now even if it was free.

louie

we need to let cable vision know what we want and are willing to pay for!!!!!!!!!!
email the hell out of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Howard F. Schneider, MD

Much of what cablevision televises is terrible. I love hockey and trading stocks.

I watch CNBC and CenterIce. I also love music and art. Voom HD has the art

channel(Artland) and the music channnel(RaveHD). I think cablevision' s de-

cision to pull the Voom HD service is a major blow to anyone with an edu-

cation beyond the 8th grade. I think they should be expanding the Voom HD

service. I know it's about the money. But how much money is enough?

The Dolan's own the New York Knicks.They also singlehandedly blocked

the Westside stadium. Power and wealth doesn't make you right and they

are wrong on this one.

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