Beverly Hills Chooses Extension Instead of Renewal for Adelphia
By DARRELL SATZMAN
Unwilling to commit to a long-term deal with troubled Adelphia Communications Corp., Beverly Hills officials have recommended extending the cable provider’s contract until the end of the year.
Beverly Hills City Council will vote on the extension as early as this week and is expected to approve the recommendation. The city’s contract with Adelphia expires on June 15.
In Los Angeles, the city’s Board of Information Technology Commissioners agreed last Thursday to a recommendation from the agency’s general director for a two-year extension in one of that city’s 14 cable franchise areas served by Time Warner Communications. In another area served by AT & T; Broadband, the board suggested an 18-month extension.
Those recommendations will be sent to the Los Angeles City Council for a vote as early as next week, while decisions on extensions in the city’s 12 other franchise areas are due in the coming weeks.
Adelphia was delisted from the Nasdaq last week following weeks of uncertainty stemming from disclosures in March that founder John Rigas and members of his family were involved in multi-billion dollar off-balance sheet financing deals. The stock was trading at 70 cents when it was delisted June 3, down from a 52-week high of $42.97.
“With Adelphia’s finances in such a state we didn’t feel we could sign a new contract,” said Fred Cunningham, director of public affairs for Beverly Hills. “We didn’t want to extend it too far out because if there is a bankruptcy, the shorter term is more practical.”