Repackaging Time at Adelphia


Trying to simplify current premium- and digital-pricing plans while also
raising per-subscriber revenue levels, Adelphia Communications Corp. said it
would revamp its packages over the next several months and increase what it
currently charges for comparable offerings.

Adelphia will focus on 12 packages, which may be supplemented with à la carte
services. Basic plus expanded basic (an average of 75 channels) will be offered
as "Adelphia Classic." Add in "Power Link" high-speed-data service and it’s
called "Adelphia Classic Advantagepak."

The biggest offering -- all digital channels, all premiums and all of their
multiplexes -- will be called "Adelphia Ultimate."

The Denver-based MSO will roll out its new packaging over the next several
months. Meanwhile, customer-contact personnel are being retrained to sell the
new packages.

Adelphia president and chief operating officer Ron Cooper said in an
interview that the MSO’s former regime had factored some steep discounts into
some digital bundles in an apparent effort to accelerate digital penetration.
But in some cases, the discounts priced some services at below operator

Adelphia’s new approach is to make its packages easier to understand and to
sell them for prices the operator can afford to sustain. "The net of it is,
consumers will have a better range of choice than they’ve had historically," he

The MSO also hopes to do a better job of upselling its existing base of about
1.9 million digital customers, including pitching high-speed-data services when
rebuilds are completed and broadband becomes available, Cooper said.

Local regulators in Adelphia markets indicated that they do not welcome the
upcoming changes.

"We’ve already been told [certain] rates may go up as much as 30%," San
Bernadino County, Calif., division chief of franchise programs Lori Panzino
said. "Repackaging is never in the best interest of consumers. It’s all about
the ability to charge more money for less stuff."