Cablevision Celebrates 1M Cable Modems

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New York -- Cablevision Systems Corp. marked the acquisition of its 1 millionth cable-modem customer with a "celebration" at its Bethpage, N.Y., headquarters Wednesday night, chairman Charles Dolan said during remarks at the SkyFORUM conference here Thursday.

He made the comment after a question, by interviewer Paul Maxwell, about the cable company he was "leaving behind" as a result of the planned spinoff of Cablevision’s new direct-broadcast satellite arm into a new entity that would also encompass three Rainbow Media Holdings Inc. national programming networks.

"We’re not leaving it behind -- they’re doing very well," Dolan said.

He’s in line to give up the chairman job at Cablevision (which would go to his son, MSO CEO James Dolan) after the spinoff. Charles Dolan will be chairman of the spun-off entity.

A Cablevision spokesman said James Dolan spoke at the event to mark 1 million Optimum Online customers.

At SkyFORUM, the elder Dolan said he still considered himself a "cable guy" and he would like to always be thought of that way, adding, "But cable, that’s not the church we go to, it’s not a religion: It’s a delivery system."

After his SkyFORUM remarks, Charles Dolan added that he expects regulators to approve the Rainbow DBS spinoff between the first and third quarters of 2004, Reuters reported.

He added that the timing of the spinoff would depend on the conclusion of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation into expense accounting at Rainbow Media’s cable networks unit, and he did not know when the SEC would complete its investigation, Reuters reported.

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