Earnings Call: Cablevision's Dolan: Challenges Bear Down, From The Economy To Verizon

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) CEO Jim Dolan led off the company's conference call highlighting the May purchases of Sundance Channel and Newsday. He later said that he's disappointed with equity valuations and the company's stock price. Noting that that the challenging market conditions have made it more difficult to manage its debt obligations, Dolan sought to assure investors that the company is working on ways to manage the tough times. Stock buybacks and dividends are something that the company may explore, Dolan said. "We are interested in closing the gap between what we think the value of the company is and what the capital market's view is." He added that he and company execs will undertake something of a "listening tour," reaching out to shareholders through conference appearances and other venues to make the best case for their management of Cablevision's finances.

Asked what kind of promotion activity has been coming from Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which is now rolling out its FiOS IPTV service in New York City, Cablevision execs were largely dismissive of the threat, saying that the telco has been competing with them for years on the calling side. Verizon's footprint is 1.1 million within Cablevision's service area. 

-- Mad Men and DVDs: While the company's AMC cable channel appears to have a hit with Mad Men, Cablevision said it doesn't expect any material benefits from DVD rentals and sales from the show's the first season. "We have an arrangement with Lionsgate on Mad Men and [DVDs ] are not directly relevant to our business.

By David Kaplan