This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

Not So Exciting AtHome

Sep 04 2001 08:32 AM PDT

ExciteAtHome feels the squeeze as two cable partners pull out, but some see opportunity.

Not a lot of tech news came out over the Labor Day weekend, but last week's hot story - the travails of ExciteAtHome - continued in the headlines today.

The company is burning $1 million per day, according to the New York Times, and it is negotiating with a major investor who wants $50 million of its money back right now. And on Friday, ExciteAtHome got the news that two of the partners that resell its cable network access, Cox and Comcast, have elected not to renew their contracts.

On Saturday the Times ran Matt Richtel's portrait of ExciteAtHome CEO Patti S. Hart. As profiled by Richtel, Hart came off as a folksy and capable executive who just might be able to pull ExciteAtHome out of the danger zone. CNET's comprehensive backgrounder on ExciteAtHome, published on Friday, was more downbeat, focusing on the culture clash between Excite's young dot-com crowd and the "cable guys" who built the AtHome network.

InternetNews covered the story of Cox's and Comcast's decision to terminate their distribution agreements with ExciteAtHome. Reporter Thor Olavsrud found some sources who thought the partners' withdrawal could be good news for the embattled cable portal, freeing it to make distribution deals with other players, such as (possibly) Microsoft.

Let's give the last word to contrarian pundit Robert X. Cringely, who dashed cold water on any lurking optimism about the future of ExciteAtHome: "Broadband is not, at this time, a viable industry." What is?

Excite@Home Executive in Crisis Control at Warp Speed
New York Times
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Was Excite@Home marriage doomed at the altar?

Cox, Comcast Plan to End @Home Distribution Agreements

No Longer Feeling @Home