Verizon’s (VZ) Cable Killer

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Mario Gabelli and other investors do not want to let Cablevision’s (CVC) founding family to take the company private at their current offer price of about $34. The investors think the company is probably worth $50.

They are wroing.

After two years of criticism, it appears that Verizon’s fiber-to-the-home high speed internet service is taking customers away from cable faster than most investors would have imagined. According to The Wall Street Journal "Verizon has signed up half a million TV subscribers and, as of the second quarter, was adding 2,600 customers per business day." David Barden, an analyst with Banc of America, predicts that Verizon will have two million FiOS TV customers by the end of 2008.

The image of Verizon taking millions of broadband and TV consumers away from cable has shares in Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Comcast (CMCSA) trading down this year. If Cablevision investors don’t take the current LBO deal, they can watch their shares drop as well.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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