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Cablevision Joining Adelphia Bidding?

Cablevision Systems Corp. may back two buyout firms’ bid for Adelphia Communications Corp., The New York Times reported.

The cable operator is reportedly discussing helping Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Providence Equity sweeten their $15 billion cash bid for Adelphia’s five million cable subs. The firms are facing off against a joint bid by Time Warner and Comcast, who have offered $17 billion, mostly in stock in Time Warner Cable.

The move would be a dramatic departure for Cablevision, which in the late 1990s shed every system outside of metro New York. Some Cleveland-area properties were acquired by Adelphia.

Cablevision’s strategy was to concentrate in one market where it could focus all marketing and technology efforts.

The operator is in the midst of dramatic turmoil at the top as Chairman Chuck Dolan battles his son, President James Dolan, over the company’s future.