CWA to Stump Against Altice-Cablevision

The Communications Workers of America, which has had a contentious relationship with Cablevision in New York, says it will be testifying against the proposed Altice-Cablevision merger over the next couple of weeks around the state.

CWA has already registered its unhappiness with the deal at the FCC, suggesting the deal debt—$8.6 billion—will lead to downsizing and pointing to issues with contractors and outsourcing.

"This level of debt will require such deep cost cutting at Cablevision that both staffing and network investments are likely to suffer, to the detriment of both consumers and workers," said CWA in announcing its full-court press against the deal.

“Altice’s potential acquisition of Cablevision would be detrimental to the company, its workforce and its customers,” said Dennis Trainor, VP of Communications Workers of America, District 1.

CWA said it will be 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.

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.