Ameritech New Media kept building its cluster in the
Cleveland suburbs last week by signing another franchise in an area dominated by
Cablevision Systems Corp.
The company reported that it had inked a deal with the city
of Middleburg Heights, a community southwest of Cleveland with 7,000 households and 14,400
That gives Ameritech Corp.'s cable subsidiary six
signed franchises in the Cleveland area, covering communities with a total of 51,000
households and 144,000 residents.
Each is a Cablevision stronghold.
A joint statement issued by Ameritech and Middleburg
Heights Mayor Gary Starr hinted that the city's chief executive had been under
pressure from angry constituents.
"We're proud to meet our citizens' request
to introduce cable competition in our community," Starr said in the statement.
"Ameritech will help us to fulfill our long-term goal of improving internal
communications via connections between our schools and government buildings."
Sources indicated that the mayor's office had been hit
with phone calls from local residents "clamoring" for the city to bring in a
competitor against Cablevision.
ANM spokesman Geoff Potter speculated that residents of
Middleburg Heights had become aware of the company's presence in surrounding
Potter said ANM hopes to inaugurate service in Middleburg
Heights later this year.