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Also: Blockbuster UK goes bankrupt; LOVEFiLM gets it on with NBCU; Suddenlink appoints commercial services president

Ex-Bresnan Brass Buy Back Into Cable

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/17/2013
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Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • BCI Broadband, a company formed by some ex-Bresnan Communications execs in 2012, has cut a deal to buy Allegiance Communications, a Tier 2 operator with systems in Arkansas, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma that pass more than 150,000 homes. BCI Broadband, led by President and CEO Jeffrey DeMond and EVP and CFO Andrew Kober, expects to close the deal in the early part of 2013. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal establishes a partnership between BCI's management and BBH Capital Partners, a private equity fund that typically invests between $20 million and $75 million "per platform investment." As for DeMond's and Kober's former company, Bresnan, Cablevision bought it in 2010 for $1.36 billion and is currently listening to offers for those systems, now referred to as Optimum West, that serve 360,000 subs in parts of Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. (See Cablevision Considers Bresnan Offers.)

  • Blockbuster Inc.'s U.K. unit has filed for bankruptcy and appointed Deloitte Development LLC to find a buyer for all or parts of the business, which will continue to operate 528 stores during the process, Reuters reports. It's a tough result for Dish Network Corp., which bought Blockbuster at a bankruptcy auction in 2010 for $320 million, and has been using the acquisition to help beef up its pay-TV menu even as it continues to shut down underperforming Blockbuster stores. (See Dish Bundles Up Blockbuster and Dish's Latest Buy Is a Blockbuster.)

  • Staying across the pond, LOVEFiLM International Ltd., Netflix Inc.'s streaming video competitor in the U.K., has secured a content deal with NBCUniversal LLC, an agreement that gives the Amazon -owned service access to new and old TV fare, including episodes of 30 Rock and Knight Rider.

  • Suddenlink Communications has promoted Kevin Stephens to president of the MSO's Dallas-based commercial and advertising operations (CAO) unit, which now brings in about $350 million per year. Stephens, who joined Suddenlink in May 2006, helped to form the unit and has already been leading it in the role of SVP. Suddenlink also promoted Brian May to VP, information technology; and Bradley Cook to VP, technical operations for the company's central region.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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