Rainbow Programming Holdings Inc., Cablevision Systems’ cable service unit, has formed Rainbow Programming Ventures, a new division that will focus on business opportunities within the world of compression and other developing technologies.

Sharon Patrick, Rainbow’s president and chief operating officer, will head up the new venture, reporting to Jim Dolan, CEO of Rainbow Programming Holdings.

The new unit is the latest in Cablevision’s ongoing reorg, which several months back saw the creation of RPH. At that time the company said the move could make it possible to create more publicly held companies.

Dolan said the new ventures unit is the “next logical step” in the company’s development and that it would “ensure that the company is well-positioned and organized” to take advantage of opportunities that digital compression and other technologies offer.

Patrick has been in charge of the Rainbow operations for the past three years.

She will continue as prez-chief operating officer of Rainbow and assist Dolan with the current businesses. However, her energies will be focused on the new operation.

At the start, Rainbow Programming Ventures will include the company’s interactive ventures, Long Island News 12, related expansion projects, computer and other new channel initiatives, Rainbow’s TVRO operations and other new business plans.

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