by Steven Spohr
Founded in 1973, Cablevision Systems Corporation is a leading telecommunications company that primarily offers television, phone, and Internet services to millions in the NY metropolitan area. Initially serving a mere 1,500 customers on Long Island, Cablevision has since expanded to offer WiFi, a leading local newspaper, and business communications solutions to its over 3 million subscribers. Former properties include Madison Square Garden and Rainbow Media Holdings. 
- Optimum TV – exclusive home of News 12 Networks, a series of local news channels
- Optimum Voice
- Optimum Online
- Optimum WiFi
- Optimum Lightpath – a “leading provider of integrated business communications solutions that meets the needs of larger companies” 
Cablevision also owns Newsday Media Group, which runs two local papers. Newsday is a Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper that has been in circulation since 1940. Over 70% of Long Island adults read Newsday, and its articles and reporting have won numerous awards and made it the top paper on Long Island. To provide the most local news possible, Newsday works closely with MSG Varsity (part of the News 12 Networks) to provide detailed coverage of local high school and college sports. amNewYork offers a quick read of city news and events. In addition to the papers, NMG owns Star Community Publishing, which producers weekly shopper publications in Long Island and Queens. It is the largest publisher of its kind in the Northeastern United States. 
The Dolan family founded Cablevision and continues to lead the company today. Key personnel include  –
2014 has seen Cablevision’s stock (CVC) prices gradually increase throughout the year. Starting the year at $17.22/share, CVC stock stands at $20.32/share as of November 29th. February 3rd saw the year’s low of $15.85. Prices peaked in late July, mid-September, and late November. 
The following financial information is from Cablevision’s Third Quarter 2014 Results.
- Net revenue increased 3.7% to $1.62 billion.
- Cable advertising revenue grew 6.8%
- Average Monthly Cable Revenue per Customer increased 5.7% to $154.50/customer/month. 
These figures represent a continued loss of subscribers for Cablevision across the board. Between satellite TV providers, rival phone companies, and the public’s shift to watching TV online, Cablevision’s audience is becoming fragmented. The company chose to increase its subscription rates in response to decreasing numbers, which is represented by the net revenue and AMCR/C increases. 
The latter half of 2014 has been a busy one, with notable hirings, financial news, legal troubles, and more.
August 4th saw Cablevision’s announcement that it has hired David Dibble as Chief Technology Officer, a newly-created role. Dibble is formerly of Yahoo!, and his hiring is part of Cablevision’s efforts to “become the premier connectivity provider in the market, delivering a peerless customer experience”. 
A New York Times article revealed a major legal proceeding against Cablevision. The National Labor Relations Board has charged Cablevision CEO James Dolan with “illegally threatening to deny company technicians in Brooklyn a pay increase unless they voted to quit their union”. The NLRB also charged Cablevision itself with “illegally [undermining] the union’s representation of those workers by sponsoring a nonbinding poll to determine whether they wanted to leave their union”, while some workers reported they were being ‘spied on’ during the vote. Federal law states that such a vote can only be conducted by the labor board, not the company. CEO Dolan fired back, calling the NLRB “a tool of Big Labor” and questioning the validity of its findings. The case is ongoing, and Cablevision has stated it will appeal to federal courts, if necessary. 
Cablevision teamed up with Time Warner Cable to release the first ever “New York Television Audience Insights Report”. The report sampled the 3.5 million subcribers of Cablevision and TWC in the New York area, which is half of the TV homes in the region. Its aim was to help advertising and marketing departments and companies get better value out of their advertising purchases. Some key findings include –
- 74% of all TV programming watched was outside of traditional TV ‘prime time’ (8-11PM).
- On average, a subscriber will only watch 25 channels in a month.
- a whopping 90% of all viewing comes from a mere 100 channels. 
These new insights will help create better statistics for TV viewership and aid advertisers in spending money more efficiently.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city is planning an extensive new WiFi network across the five boroughs. The project, dubbed LinkNYC, would provide not only free WiFi, but also no-cost domestic calling and video chat. The 10,000 hotspot system would replace the city’s decaying network of archaic payphones and operate completely with money generated through advertising. Projected to cost around $200 million, LinkNYC would bring in over $500 million over the next twelve years, according to city officials.
This announcement led some to think Cablevision’s Optimum WiFi network would be threatened by this new, massive competition. Cablevision officials have not only dismissed these musings, but have actively worked with New York City on a number of initiatives, possibly including LinkNYC itself. 
- Over $270,000 in new franchising fees are expected in 2015.
- Free cable would be provided to 16 municipal and school buildings, including the public library.
- New offers would include a senior discount for those aged sixty-five and older.
- Town Board meetings would become available for live-streaming.
- The town’s parks and baseball fields will become WiFi-equipped. 
Kids video-on-demand network Kabillion announced a carriage deal with Cablevision. Kabillion, which is the only independently-owned VOD network ranked in the Top 10 Kids Free On Demand list, will now reach over 50 million homes nationwide. The deal is beneficiary to Cablevision too, as Kabillion reports views exceeding 65 million in 2014.