AT&T, Cablevision swap ops

Boston-area coverage increased

NEW YORK — AT&T and Cablevision Systems have exchanged cable operations in a swap that will help each company expand its circulation within a given geographical region.

AT&T will pick up cable systems serving 357,850 subscribers in Boston and eastern Massachusetts, swelling AT&T’s circulation in the Boston area to 2.1 million customers once the company’s merger with Media One gets regulatory approval.

In exchange, Cablevision gets 125,500 AT&T subscribers in the northern New York suburbs. To make up the difference, AT&T has agreed to hand over to Cablevision $878 million in AT&T stock and about $284 million in cash.

Cablevision is focusing its cable-system business on the 2.9 million households with which it will end up in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut when the AT&T deal wraps up, probably by the end of the year.

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