Suddenlink Communications, the St. Louis MSO headed by cable pioneer Jerry Kent, turned 10 on Tuesday.
Now the seventh largest MSO in the country with about 1.4 million customers in several states, Suddenlink can trace its roots back to Feb. 12, 2003, when its management team, headed by Kent, assumed responsibility for Classic Communications, a troubled small market MSO with about 300,000 subscribers.
Kent, who had helped found Charter Communications, left that position in 2001 and shortly thereafter formed Cequel III to look for cable properties to manage. While Cequel III still exists as a corporate parent, Kent renamed the cable operations Cebridge Connections in August 2003. In 2006, after acquiring cable systems with about 900,000 subscribers from Cox Communications and 240,000 customers from Charter – moves that more than quadrupled its size -- Cebridge adopted the Suddenlink Communications moniker.
“Through the hard work of our team, an unrelenting focus on customer care, plus transformative acquisitions, billions of dollars in financings and capital investments, we turned a small, bankrupt company into the nation’s seventh largest cable operator with financial and operating results that are among the very best in the industry,” Kent said in a statement. “In 2003, several friends in the industry called to ask me why we agreed to take on such a long-shot risk. A decade later, our team has made that long shot look like a sure thing. My hat is off to them for everything they’ve accomplished. It’s been an incredible journey.”
Company Timeline: Selected Milestones
Feb. 2003 – Began managing Classic Communications
June 2003 – Acquired Kingwood, TX, cable system from Shaw Communications
Aug. 2003 – Changed name to Cebridge Connections
Jan. 2004 – Acquired cable systems from Alliance Communications Partners
April 2004 – Acquired cable systems from Thompson Cablevision
June 2004 – Acquired cable systems from Tele-Media Corporation
Aug. 2004 -- Acquired cable systems from USA Media
May 2006 – Acquired cable systems from Cox serving approx. 900,000 customers
July 2006 – Acquired cable systems from Charter serving approx. 240,000 customers
Jan. 2007 – Began expansive rollout of phone service
May 2008 – Completed West Texas fiber ring
Nov. 2008 – Opened new $3.5 million call center in Parkersburg, W. Va.
Feb. 2009 – Launched TV Caller ID
April 2009 – Launched business-class phone
May 2009 – Began expansion of home security service
Aug. 2009 – Launched WiFi@Home; expanded DOCSIS 3.0 roll out
Nov. 2009 – Launched Project Imagine (3-year, $350 million capital investment program)
Mar. 2010 – Introduced High-Speed Internet MAX 107.0 service
Aug. 2010 – Acquired Greenwood, Miss., cable system from Windjammer
Aug. 2010 – First major cable operator to have all technicians SCTE certified
Sept. 2010 – Reached 3 million revenue generating units (RGUs)
Dec. 2010 – Launched TiVo® HD/DVR
April 2011 – Acquired NPG Cable
June 2011 – Launched Suddenlink2GO online video service
Sept. 2012 – Completed Project Imagine
Oct. 2012 – Launched TiVo Stream
Nov. 2012 – Reached 1 million high-speed Internet customers
Nov. 2012 – Company acquired by management and new equity investors
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