Rainbow shuts Voom's domestic operations
December 19, 2008
Rainbow Media is closing down the domestic operations of its Voom high-definition programming service. The shutdown follows Dish Network's decision in May to drop Voom's 15 channels. The only other major distributor of the channels is Cablevision Systems, Rainbow's parent company. Rainbow sued EchoStar Communications, which was Dish's parent company before it was spun off, over the carriage dispute.
"Voom's domestic business was made possible through an affiliation agreement between Rainbow and EchoStar, which was established in 2005. Unfortunately, earlier this year, a significant legal dispute arose with EchoStar. While that lawsuit is progressing, the expectation is that it will be at least a year before any sort of resolution is reached," Rainbow CEO Josh Sapan said. "Unfortunately, as we analysed the opportunities and challenges in the current environment and the lawsuit, it became clear that we can no longer operate Voom domestically, particularly without EchoStar fulfilling its obligations and providing its support."
The closure will result in an unspecified number of layoffs, although some staffers will move over to Voom's international operations, which continue. Voom channels are available in over 30 countries.