CWA Continues Block Altice-Cablevision Road Show

The Communications Workers of America has told the New York State Public Service Commission that the proposed merger of Altice and Cablevision is not in the public interest and should be rejected.

That came in initial comments from the 700,000-member union, 300 of which are Cablevision employees, which has already told the FCC to block the deal and plans to take the same tack with the New York City Franchise Concession Review Committee and the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, all reviewing the deal.

Cablevision in February of last year reached an agreement on a new contract with CWA, but only after years of contentious negotiations.

The union is concerned about job losses and the amount of debt involved with the deal that they argue could put jobs at risk and has been been pushing back on a number of regulatory fronts including weighing in at hearings in Peekskill, N.Y. Jan. 26; the Bronx supreme court Jan. 27; and Nassau County and Suffolk County (Long Island), both Feb. 2.

Altice and Cablevision have dismissed the CWA opposition, saying it "relies on selective press accounts, mischaracterization and surmise to impugn the transaction and advance its own narrow interests."

They call the deal structuring sound and with demonstrable consumer benefits including network investment. It also points out that some of the debt in the deal is actually restructuring existing Cablevision debt.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.