TCI cable plans trade for Kansas system

TCI cable plans trade for Kansas system

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

A Missouri cable television company that focuses on small markets plans to trade a Topeka, Kan., area cable system to TCI of North Mississippi for a Northeast Mississippi system.

Galaxy Cablevision, headquartered in Sikeston, Mo., and TCI asked Lee County supervisors Monday to grant the new company a franchise to operate TCI’s system in the northern part of the county.

Under the proposed deal, Galaxy would take over TCI’s cable serving sections including Saltillo, Guntown and Baldwyn, as well as areas extending to Booneville, Holly Springs and Ashland. Galaxy would also manage TCI’s system in the Nettleton-Brewer area, but would not own that system, although it might acquire it later.

Larry Spangler, Galaxy’s director of government relations, said his company planned to rebuild the northern system by the end of 1997, giving it the capability to offer more than 60 channels.

TCI’s local employees would be offered jobs with Galaxy and continue to run the system as before, TCI General Manager David Lusby said.

The trade between the companies would involve about 10,000 subscribers in both the Mississippi and Kansas systems.

TCI intends to divest itself of all its Mississippi cable holdings, consolidating its efforts in other markets. It is also in the process of trading its Biloxi system, its only other Mississippi property, to another group, Lusby said.

Supervisors took no action on the request, and asked that Galaxy submit a list of its other systems in Mississippi and a financial report. They noted that TCI service has been very good, and they want the system to maintain that standard.

“I don’t want it traded off and end up like some other (system) we have here where they can’t provide service,” board President Billy Davis said. “If you get too small, then you don’t have enough (capital) to get (cable) to other customers.

“We’ve had good service and I want to continue to get good service.”

Lusby promised the new Galaxy subscribers would “continue to have the same service or better. … These are major systems for Galaxy.”

Spangler said Galaxy, formed in 1980, operates systems in 17 states, and prefers to serve smaller communities.

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