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Broadstripe Files For Chapter 11
Owes several hundred million to lenders...
by Karl Bode 12:06PM Tuesday Jan 06 2009
Broadstripe (see our user reviews) apparently needed that NebuAD revenue more than anybody thought. Shortly after the new year began, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Broadstripe (who changed their name from Millennium Digital Media in '07) is one of the nation's twenty largest cable operations, and serves 93,000 customers in parts of Maryland, Michigan, Washington, and Oregon. The company's CEO posted a letter to the Broadstripe website insisting there's nothing to worry about:
quote:
Broadstripe filed Chapter 11 to strengthen its balance sheet and to accomplish a financial restructuring of its financial obligations. We expect that the restructuring will take a period of months and that it will be completed in 2009. Broadstripe will emerge a stronger, more competitive company with the resources to continue to provide our customers with best-in-class products and services.
In a press release, Broadstripe says it has secured $15 million in debtor-in-possession financing from existing lenders. Broadstripe owes $331.1 million to Highland Capital Management LP, $28.8 million to Credit Suisse International, and $13.6 million to JPMorgan Chase.

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Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

I can't see this being good....

That they owe hundreds of millions and only have 90,00 subscribers?
soccerguy

join:2004-06-28
Seattle, WA

Re: I can't see this being good....

I refuse to believe the 93,000 figure, although I have no facts to back it up. They must service at least half that figure here in Seattle.

City

@seattle.wa.us

Re: I can't see this being good....

They have 17k in Seattle

Hazy Arc

join:2006-04-10
Greenwood, SC
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Embarq Now Centu..

"Everything is A-OK!"

celtic

join:2001-02-08
USA

1 edit

Re: "Everything is A-OK!"

cut

Former Manager

@verizon.net
He's an appropriate spokesman. Seinfeld could make a movie about how these people ran their company. Story was the company was started by 4 former cable execs, each put up $25 million. They were able to borrow un-godly amounts of money in '99/early 2000's. I worked with an ISP they acquired(1 of 12). All key people offered options for the large cap IPO about 2 years off.

The original plan in part was for us to help design and support the addition of Internet to their local cable operation. We were looking forward to this new alliance. The the ILEC's treated ISP's like the enemy at that time and we thought it a great opportunity to bypass the phone companies. The local cable operation didn't like the idea and treated us worse than the ILECS. Wouldn't even take or return our calls. They ran adds for our dial up service but wouldn't allow us to schedule or detail what ran. Just sent summary bills to St. Louis. Parent company didn't fix it and our relationship ended there.

They made offers on several other local ISP's and put in a conditional order for more capacity. Only 1 deal closed but they forgot to cancel that order and were left with crazy monthly cost. They would authorize $100,000+ logo redesign and printing one month and refuse a business card order for sales the next. The logo redesign was scrapped 6 months after that for another new look, then our ISP name sold a few month later for a fraction of what paid. Major radio/print ad buy one month, salesmen's company cells cut off the next. We offered Covad, NAC and Northpoint DSL when purchased. Corporate didn't let our other 11 ISP's sell DSL all summer 2000 until they signed a company wide deal. They rolled out a preferred deal with Northpoint about 2 months before their bankruptcy. They signed a long term lease for NOC space in Ohio at .com pricing, then discovered the floor couldn't support the weight. By 2002 they sold all 12 ISP's for less than 25% paid.

They would come in and brutally fire people but pay months severance. They forced a salesman out but forgot to take him off the payroll for about 5 months. Another exec discovered his family still had health coverage after 8 months(he had other coverage). They came in 1 Friday to fire a well qualified tech with an attitude. The only one left that really knew our NOC. I asked to let me find him another job for him in the next month and send someone in to learn his job. They refused, canned him that night and gave him 6 weeks severance. He had another job in a week at 40% more pay and our customer email was sporadic all month.

I was sure they wanted me out. I removed my personal stuff, cleaned my laptop and submitted my resignation. Turns out they wanted me to stay. I agreed if they could give me a formal plan defining a direction. I left 2 weeks later. I had to fight for my last check even though I had an email stating they would pay out my notice. They refused to pay commissions until I sued, then had a very friendly lawyer pay up in full after a drafting a long, expensive agreement where I acknowledged they did no wrong. Probably cost more than they paid me.

I could go on for hours but I think you get the picture. I know creditors are not responsible for operations, but I can't feel bad for anyone who lent them so much money.

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

1 edit

I think..

They should ask for a bail out from the government. Why not, everyone else is. Just look at the auto industry. They claimed that they would have to shut their doors if they did not get the money. NOT!!! They could go into restructuring such as this company has done, but, that would mean that all the UAW contracts would be null and void and we certainly cannot have them losing their $27 million country club.

»www.cnsnews.com/Public/Content/a···ID=41148

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: I think..

By "them" you mean the (mostly) Democrat members of Congress who rely on UAW contributions rolling into their coffers every campaign cycle, right?

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

Re: I think..

said by jester121:

By "them" you mean the (mostly) Democrat members of Congress who rely on UAW contributions rolling into their coffers every campaign cycle, right?
Actually, by "them", I mean anyone who knows that the UAW is the one behind the bailout option and supports it. Doesn't matter if they are democrat, republican, or martian.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Comcast & TWC Getting bigger

Comcast & TWC will surely become bigger after all this.
soccerguy

join:2004-06-28
Seattle, WA

Broadstripe Service

Our building is locked into a service contract with Broadstripe. The price is great, and the channel selection includes a few things that Comcast doesn't, and their techs are knowledgeable. However, their customer service is extraordinarily poor, and probably a good 15-20% of the channels don't come in clearly.

We're looking at replacing them with satellite for the building, instead of going with Comcast (our only other alternative given that Verizon does not service the City of Seattle).
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Broadstripe Service

Is Broadstripe an incumbent cable co, or an overbuilder?
soccerguy

join:2004-06-28
Seattle, WA

Re: Broadstripe Service

I believe they are an incumbent with their own service territory and franchise agreement with the city. I do also believe they serve some of the burbs, but I don't know which ones.
soccerguy

join:2004-06-28
Seattle, WA
From Seattle's Office of Cable Communications (the franchise authority):

Broadstripe serves approximately 17,000 Seattle cable subscribers with cable television and Internet service and is the sole cable operator in the Central Area Franchise District. Broadstripe also serves the Downtown and parts of Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill and Queen Anne.

I eat crow from my earlier post. I am surprised their subscriber base is so small given the high population density of these neighborhoods.

Anyway, I would not be surprised to see the Bankruptcy Court sell off this service territory to Comcast.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD
said by patcat88:

Is Broadstripe an incumbent cable co, or an overbuilder?
Both. They are in competition where I lived with both Verizon FIOS and Comcast.

Smile__
Premium
join:2008-10-10
New Freedom, PA

I thought Comcast was buying them..

I run into a few of there customers here and there. They are in the Anne Arundel County Area in Maryland. That's why they were downsizing and cutting things back in the 4th Qtr.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: I thought Comcast was buying them..

Hmm, 373.5 million in debt. over 93,000 customers...betcha that debt per customer is much higher than that of Charter, wouldn't ya think? Don't think they'd be able to roll out DOCSIS 3 with those numbers...

That's a debt of $3931 or so per customer. With an ARPU of $100 per month (just pulling it out of the air) it's 40 months of REVENUE, with no operating costs or profit, to pay that off. Ridiculous...don't think this company can get out of the hole they're in, but that's just me.

I'd bet Comcast would buy them up. Their network is likely decent. Estimated buyout costs, including debt? Maybe 1/2 their debt, plus taking on the total debt. $500 million in all?

Re: I thought Comcast was buying them..

comcast was going to buy the MD properties but the deal fell thru. rcn looked at the MD properties as well since it fit with their DC area system. this is a sign that life of overbuilders are over. RCN, WOW, Wave, Knogody,Astound are next to go under.

said by iansltx:

Hmm, 373.5 million in debt. over 93,000 customers...betcha that debt per customer is much higher than that of Charter, wouldn't ya think? Don't think they'd be able to roll out DOCSIS 3 with those numbers...

That's a debt of $3931 or so per customer. With an ARPU of $100 per month (just pulling it out of the air) it's 40 months of REVENUE, with no operating costs or profit, to pay that off. Ridiculous...don't think this company can get out of the hole they're in, but that's just me.

I'd bet Comcast would buy them up. Their network is likely decent. Estimated buyout costs, including debt? Maybe 1/2 their debt, plus taking on the total debt. $500 million in all?

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Phew....

At first I thought it said Red Stripe and I got nervous.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

1 recommendation

Re: Phew....

said by ptrowski:

At first I thought it said Red Stripe and I got nervous.
Hooray Beer!
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