Cablevision Seeks Telemarketing Exemptions


Cablevision Systems Corp. is advocating certain exemptions that would allow
the company to continue to call former customers who have opted to ban
telemarketing calls by joining a "do-not-call" registry.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering new telemarketing rules,
including one already adopted by the Federal Trade Commission that would allow
consumers to use an 800 number to join a do-not-call database for the next five
years. Violators face per-call fines of up to $11,000.

In FCC comments filed Friday, Cablevision said it should be allowed to call
consumers who have joined the do-not-call list if the company has an
"established business relationship" with those customers.

The company said it should also be allowed to call former customers for a
reasonable period of time in order to pitch "win-back" promotions.

Telemarketing, the MSO added, is a valuable tool in informing current
subscribers about other products such as digital video, phone services, and
high-speed data, and about promotions to events at company-owned venues Madison
Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.

"Cablevision and other cable operators facing strong competition from other
providers of video-programming and voice and data services need to let their
customers know that they offer bundles or packages of these services at
discounted prices," Cablevision said.

The FCC is expected to adopt telemarketing rules governing cable and phone
companies by late spring, K. Dane Snowden, chief of the agency's Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau, said Friday.