Voom Sale Leaves Customers Cold

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Cablevision Systems Corp.’s $200 million sale of Voom satellite assets to EchoStar Communications Corp. left thousands of subscribers — many of whom have spent more than $1,000 on Voom hardware — in limbo.

Cablevision has said that it will continue to operate Voom during a “transition period” before the transaction between its Rainbow DBS unit and EchoStar closes.

EchoStar isn’t buying Voom customers, last reported at 26,000. Voom continues to accept new orders, but several customers said they are weighing whether to order another cable or satellite HDTV service in anticipation of Voom’s shutdown. Others have already made the switch.

Voom hasn’t sent any notification to subscribers about the sale, or a possible shutdown of the service, customers said. Cablevision and Voom officials declined to comment on the fate of the Voom customers, including questions regarding whether Cablevision and Voom are obligated to notify customers about the service’s future.

The Carmel Group analyst Jimmy Schaeffler estimated Voom’s 26,000 customers could fetch $30 to $40 million in a sale, and said it’s still possible EchoStar could buy them.

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