America's fifth-largest cable company, Adelphia, currently up for sale while languishing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, could reject the joint offer currently under consideration by Comcast Corporation and Time Warner – respectively top dog and and runner-up in the cable league.

The expected offer was discussed at Adelphia's regular monthly board meeting on Wednesday, where the more astute members of the board are eager to see the two cable giants bid against each other rather than in concert.

Whatever their decision, Adelphia directors will will be damned if they consider a joint offer and damned if they don't. The former will lay them open to charges that they failed to rachet-up competitive bidding; the latter that they ignored a bidding team with the ready cash to buy the group in its entirety rather than just its component parts.

The Comcast/TW axis is not the only interested party. Over forty other prospective bidders have asked for the group's vital statistics and signed confidentiality agreements on the sale, which some analysts expect to generate more than $17 billion (€13.8m; £9.53bn).

Meantime the trial continues of Adelphia's former chairman John Rigas and other directors for alleged fraud and looting of company resources.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff