DirecTV courting Adelphia's L.A. area subs

NEW YORK — The satellite buzzards of DirecTV are circling Adelphia’s wounded cable systems in Los Angeles.

DirecTV, the largest satellite distributor of cable networks and local TV stations in the U.S., has engineered a full-court press on the 1.2 million-plus Los Angeles-area subscribers of bankrupt Adelphia Communications.

“Considering all of the negative coverage by the mainstream press of Adelphia’s problems, subscribers have to be asking themselves whether Adelphia can continue to provide reliable service in the Los Angeles area,” said a spokesman for DirecTV.

Through newspaper and radio ads, and what it calls guerilla marketing (door-to-door solicitation), DirecTV is offering households that cancel their Adelphia subscriptions a two-pronged deal:

? A total of 75 cable networks, including all of the mass-circulation channels, plus the local TV stations in Los Angeles, for $40 a month.

? Installation of satellite hookups in two rooms by professionals from Best Buy, Circuit City, Good Guys and other retailers for less than half the usual $100 price.

Federal prosecutors and auditors from the SEC are investigating charges that Adelphia overstated its revenues and earnings during the last two years and overestimated the number of paying subscribers. Adelphia filed for bankruptcy protection June 25.

Adelphia’s L.A. area systems serve the city of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Anaheim, Chino, Diamond Bar, Moreno Valley, Sherman Oaks and Moorpark.

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