AOL TW, Disney and Viacom Head Adelphia Creditors’ Lineup

01 July 2002

Heading the list of creditors lined at the portals of Adelphia Communications – now protected by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing [WAMN: 26-Jun-02] –are America’s three largest broadcast behemoths, AOL Time Warner, Walt Disney Company and Viacom – owed between them a total of $170 million (€171.56m; £110.92m).

The trio, thought to be the largest creditors after bondholders such as Bank of America, are owed for the supply of program content up to the date of Adelphia’s admission into Chapter 11.

Says Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney Ivan Kallick: “This is a list of who is not likely to get paid in a while. And when they do get paid, they never get 100%. They could see only pennies on each dollar.”

But there is a crumb of comfort for the threesome and other program providers. While they may well whistle for their past dollars, payment for provision of future content and other services is now guaranteed under bankruptcy law.

Topping the content supplicants is the HBO unit of AOL Time Warner, owed $34.4m, while other group creditors include TNT ($13.9m) and CNN ($7.5m). Next in line is Viacom, whose three content suppliers Showtime Networks, MTV Networks and Black Entertainment Television are respectively owed $11.9m, $11.6m and $4.1m. The Disney Channel is whistling for $7.3m and its ESPN sibling $6.9m; while Vivendi Universal’s USA Network, has its hand outstretched for a mere $5m.

Other media creditors include General Electric subsidiaries CNBC/NBC and MSNBC, plus cable set-top box providers Motorola and Scientific Atlanta.

Data sourced from: The Hollywood Reporter; additional content by WARC staff