Insight Communications Co. Inc. distanced itself from the scandal surrounding
Adelphia Communications Corp. by holding a conference call with analysts to
discuss its accounting practices.
The call only lasted a little more than 20 minutes, but Insight management
was successful in deflecting any lingering doubts about its accounting. Its
stock closed at $14.10 per share Wednesday, up $1.48, or nearly 12 percent.
Insight said that unlike Adelphia, it doesn't count revenue from customers
who receive free-service promos until it actually gets their money, it has no
off-balance-sheet debt and it doesn't receive money from its set-top vendor for
Of its 1.4 million subscribers, about 54,200 are bulk equivalents, such as
college students and residents of multiple-dwelling units, Insight said. The MSO
added that about 10 percent of its data subscribers don't take video service,
but it doesn't include those customers in its basic-video count.
While Insight has seen some of its outside investments decline in value, it
has written down those investments appropriately, and at no time were they
counted as revenue.
Putting on his hat as National Cable & Telecommunications Association
chairman, Insight CEO Michael Willner said Adelphia's problems are specific to
that company and shouldn't change the accounting practices of other
While he expects no added regulatory scrutiny of cable accounting, Willner
said, the industry should perhaps look into making its numbers more
'In terms of clarification and ease of understanding the little differences
between the way companies interpret certain numbers, we might be able to do a
better job as an industry of trying to give you some macro numbers that we all
report in a similar way,' he added. 'I'll see if there is any way that we might
be able to develop that plan.'