plant components, including pay-per-view systems, as an integrated system. We
are utilizing another third party to also conduct comprehensive testing on our
advertising related scheduling and billing systems. In addition, we are
evaluating the potential impact of third party failure and integration failure
on our systems.
RISKS AND REASONABLY LIKELY WORST CASE SCENARIOS. The failure to correct a
material year 2000 problem could result in system failures leading to a
disruption in, or failure of certain normal business activities or operations.
Such failures could materially and adversely affect our results of operations,
liquidity and financial condition. Due to the general uncertainty inherent in
the year 2000 problem, resulting in part from the uncertainty of the year 2000
readiness of third-party suppliers and customers, we are unable to determine at
this time whether the consequences of year 2000 failures will have a material
impact on our results of operations, liquidity or financial condition. The year
2000 taskforce is expected to significantly reduce our level of uncertainty
about the year 2000 problem and, in particular, about the year 2000 compliance
and readiness of our material vendors.
We are in the process of acquiring certain cable televisions systems, and
have negotiated certain contractual rights in the acquisition agreements
relating to the year 2000. We have included the acquired cable television
systems in our year 2000 taskforce's plan. We are monitoring the remediation
process for systems we are acquiring to ensure completion of remediation before
or as we acquire these systems. We have found that these companies are following
a three stage process similar to that outlined above and are on a similar time
line. We are not currently aware of any likely material system failures relating
to the year 2000 affecting the acquired systems.
CONTINGENCY AND BUSINESS CONTINUATION PLAN. Our year 2000 plan calls for
suitable contingency planning for our at-risk business functions. We normally
make contingency plans in order to avoid interrupted service providing video,
voice and data products to our customers. The normal contingency planning is
being reviewed and will be revised by August 1999, where appropriate, to
specifically address year 2000 exposure with respect to service to customers.
COST. We have incurred $4.9 million in costs to date directly related to
addressing the year 2000 problem. We have redeployed internal resources and have
selectively engaged outside vendors to meet the goals of our year 2000 program.
We currently estimate the total cost of our year 2000 remediation program to be
approximately $7 million. Although we will continue to make substantial capital
expenditures in the ordinary course of meeting our telecommunications system
upgrade goals through the year 2000, we will not specifically accelerate those
expenditures to facilitate year 2000 readiness, and accordingly those
expenditures are not included in the above estimate.
ACCOUNTING STANDARD NOT YET IMPLEMENTED
In June 1998, the Financial Accounting Standards Board adopted SFAS No.
133, "Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities". SFAS No.
133 establishes accounting and reporting standards requiring that every
derivative instrument, including certain derivative instruments embedded in
other contracts, be recorded in the balance sheet as either an asset or
liability measured at its fair value and that changes in the derivative's fair
value be recognized currently in earnings unless specific hedge accounting
criteria are met. Special accounting for qualifying hedges allows a derivative's
gains and losses to offset related results on the hedged item in the income
statement, and requires that a company must formally document, designate and
assess the effectiveness of transactions that receive hedge accounting. SFAS No.
133 is effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2000. We have not yet
quantified the impacts of adopting SFAS No. 133 on our consolidated financial
statements nor have we determined the timing or method of our adoption of SFAS
No. 133. However, SFAS No. 133 could increase volatility in earnings (loss).