For all the alleged looting at Adelphia Communications, there's plenty of value left in the cable TV system operator. Now the question is where it will all go. Adelphia founder John Rigas is on trial with two sons and another executive on conspiracy and fraud charges, accused of improperly taking company assets and money for personal use. The cable operator filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, after the disclosure that Adelphia was potentially on the hook for billions of dollars in loans taken out by the Rigas family. Yet the fact remains that Adelphia, the nation's fifth-largest cable operator, is a hugely valuable property, one that could remake the landscape of the cable TV business in the U.S. With 5.4 million subscribers to basic cable service, Adelphia is larger than such other publicly traded operators as Cablevision ( CVC), Mediacom ( MCCC) and Insight ( ICCI). Current management, attempting to lead Adelphia out of Chapter 11 by the end of the year, plans to operate Adelphia as a stand-alone cable TV system operator. But -- given such factors as large operators' tendencies toward industry consolidation and the current absence of a controlling family interested in staying in control (one of the classic obstacles to cable TV industry acquisitions) -- many investors are playing the game of figuring out who could end up acquiring Adelphia, and whether current shareholders could end up profiting from such a deal. The latest round of speculation emerged Monday with a report in the trade magazine Broadcasting and Cable that Cox ( COX), the nation's fourth-largest operator of cable systems, is "carefully evaluating" how it could buy all or part of Adelphia. That report -- which was picked up by UBS analyst Aryeh Bourkoff, also mentioned as a source for part of the article -- carried the caveats that Cox hadn't hired any bankers for such a deal, and that Cox CEO Jim Robbins doesn't want to do a deal until Adelphia emerges from its contentious Chapter 11 proceeding.