Dolan opens wireless wallet

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Cablevision Systems will spend $350 million on building a wireless broadband network, management said Thursday.

Together with announced and possible acquisitions, this could cost the company more than $1 billion.

But asked about overall capital plans, CEO James Dolan wouldn't rule out dividends and stock buybacks, which analysts have hoped for, as well as further acquisitions. "We are inherently a growth company," he said, adding that Cablevision is looking at all its options.

COO Tom Rutledge said the new wireless network should be completed within two years. Existing customers will be able to access it for free, which will "enhance our service and cement our relationship with customers for the long haul," he said.

Cablevision reported first-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street estimates on an unexpected gain of 2,000 basic cable subscribers despite competition from Verizon's FiOS TV service.

The company posted a loss of $31.6 million, up from $26.3 million a year ago. Revenue rose 10.1%. (partialdiff)
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