PICAYUNE MS, LAFOURCHE LA, ST. TAMMANY LA, ST. LANDRY LA,
POINTE COUPEE LA, AND JACKSON TN CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEMS
(INCLUDED IN TWI CABLE INC.)
NOTES TO COMBINED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS -- (CONTINUED)
USE OF ESTIMATES
The preparation of combined financial statements in conformity with
generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates
and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the combined financial
statements and footnotes thereto. Actual results could differ from those
CONCENTRATION OF CREDIT RISK
A significant portion of the customer base is concentrated within the local
geographical area of each of the individual cable television systems. The
Combined Systems generally extend credit to customers and the ultimate
collection of accounts receivable could be affected by the local economy.
Management performs continuous credit evaluations of its customers and may
require cash in advance or other special arrangements from certain customers.
Management does not believe that there is any significant credit risk which
could have a material effect on the financial condition of the Combined Systems.
REVENUE AND COSTS
Subscriber fees are recorded as revenue in the period the related services
are provided and advertising revenues are recognized in the period the related
advertisements are exhibited. Rights to exhibit programming are purchased from
various cable networks. The costs of such rights are generally expensed as the
related services are made available to subscribers.
Local governmental authorities impose franchise fees on the cable
television systems owned by the Combined Systems ranging up to a federally
mandated maximum of 5.0% of gross revenues. On a monthly basis, such fees are
collected from the Combined Systems' customers. Prior to January 1997, franchise
fees were not separately itemized on customers' bills. Such fees were considered
part of the monthly charge for basic services and equipment, and therefore were
reported as revenue and expense in the Combined Systems' financial results.
Management began the process of itemizing such fees on all customers' bills
beginning in January 1997. In conjunction with itemizing these charges, the
Combined Systems began separately collecting the franchise fee on all revenues
subject to franchise fees. As a result, such fees are no longer included as
revenue or as franchise fee expense. The net effect of this change is a
reduction in 1997 revenue and franchise fee expense of approximately $1,500,000
versus the comparable period in 1996.
Advertising costs are expensed upon the first exhibition of the related
advertisements. Advertising expense amounted to $308,000, $632,000 and $510,000
for the years ended 1995, 1996 and 1997, respectively.
STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS
The Combined Systems participate in a cash management system with
affiliates whereby cash receipts are transferred to a centralized bank account
from which centralized payments to various suppliers and creditors are made on
behalf of the Combined Systems. The excess of