The imminent defection of Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications from their partnerships Excite@Home suggests the handwriting is on the wall in neon letters for the high-speed cable service.
Excite@Home said late Friday that Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications had sent a letter indicating their plans to withdraw from their relationships with the high-speed Internet service provider next summer. That seemed a reaction to Promethean Asset Management's move to recover $50 million it invested in the company - and anticipated creditors that may soon knock on the door. "It's like dominoes," said independent media analyst Gary Arlen. "Everybody's trying to get their money out as fast as they can."
The Comcast-Cox move could also be a strategy aimed at effectively dissolving their exclusivity deals with Excite@Home, enabling them to strike deals with AOL Time Warner's Road Runner service, which could soon be the only cable modem service standing.
Meanwhile, Excite@Home got a bit of breathing room in a tussle with a major creditor, Promethean Asset Management of New York. Promethean had demanded that Excite@Home pay back $50 million by Aug. 31, but recanted its demand on Friday, agreeing to discuss a resolution with Excite@Home.
- Richard Tedesco