After months of rumors, this morning it became official: Charter plans to step in where Comcast failed, with a $55 billion plan to acquire Time Warner Cable. Regulators looked unfavorably on Comcast’s bid, finding it would have too many negative effects on consumers and on competition. But Charter clearly would not be trying its own takeover, with such a huge price tag, if they didn’t think they stood a good chance of success. So what makes the second offer so different from the first — and is it any more likely to succeed?
Almost immediately after the failure of the Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable came news that TWC’s original suitor, Charter Communications, was already knocking at the door looking to rekindle their romance. Today, the couple made it official with the news that Charter and TWC will walk down the aisle in a deal worth around $55 billion. [More]
It’s like something out of a romantic comedy that stars a couple of mid-level TV actors and gets dumped into theaters in mid-March: Fresh on the heels of being left at the altar by big-bucks beau Comcast, Time Warner Cable apparently finds itself being courted by a pair of very different suitors — a nice guy from Connecticut with rich friends and a mysterious French billionaire currently on a stateside shopping spree. [More]
The collapse of the much-discussed, absolutely enormous Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger earlier this year might have been an occasion for consumers and consumer advocates to cheer — but for businesses, it was much less good news. Cable companies that want to buy other cable companies are kind of freaked out: what if the FCC is hostile to their plans, too?
Odds are (unless you live in central Florida) that you probably don’t know much about Bright House Networks. The cable company serves about 2 million TV and internet customers, mostly in Florida and also in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and California. But in the many eddies rippling through the cable world after the sinking of the Comcast/TWC merger, this one regional provider may be poised to make or break some pretty big deals.
It’s only been a few days since Comcast and Time Warner Cable got tired of waiting for the inevitable regulatory objections to their wedding and called off the whole $45 billion marriage. While Comcast can enjoy the single life for a bit before deciding what to do next, TWC is already being linked to multiple suitors. First there was news that Charter, who was originally rejected in favor of Comcast’s bigger, sexier proposal, was once again standing outside TWC’s window with a boombox over its head. Now come rumors that TWC may be trying to make some merger magic happen with Cox. [More]
Today’s headlines are all about Comcast failing to buy Time Warner Cable, but there weren’t just two players in the game. Another company is losing out: Charter would have been the lucky recipient of all the mega-merger’s spun-off customers, giving them greater consolidation over markets mainly in the midwest. But with the failure of the mega-merger, TWC is now minus one new owner, and Charter is minus all those new paying customers. So if a new deal i already in the works, well, color us unsurprised. [More]
Baseball season is only days away, and the L.A. Dodgers are fresh off a 94-win division title season. Yet a large number of Dodgers fans can’t watch the games on TV because the cable sports channel owned by the team and Time Warner Cable has yet to reach deals that would let other pay-TV operators in the region carry the station. And TWC’s answer to these fans is mind-bogglingly idiotic. [More]
In cable, merger mania isn’t just for the biggest players. The next tier down wants to play, too. And so we have the announcement this morning that Charter is planning to buy regional operator Bright House Networks for a cool $10.4 billion.
An important industry analyst who had previously placed decent odds on Comcast being allowed to spend $45 billion to acquire Time Warner Cable is now looking at the deal in a less-sunny light, downgrading the likelihood of the merger succeeding. [More]
Even with bought-and-paid-for Senators urging the FCC to hurry up its review of the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, there is only so much the regulators can do when they don’t have the documents they need to complete that review. That’s why the FCC has once again hit the pause button on the time clock for this mega-merger. [More]
Comcast, Charter, TWC All Admit That Strong Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Actually Be The End Of The World
Every single one of the big ISPs has been spending the better part of a year telling both the government and the public that using Title II to regulate net neutrality would be so counterproductive, ineffective, and unlawful that it would ruin the whole internet for everyone forever. Their main threat has been that with tighter regulation, they will stop spending money investing in networks. But to their investors, company executives are telling a different tale entirely: Comcast, Charter, and Time Warner Cable have now joined Verizon in admitting that from an investment standpoint, Title II won’t really harm them or change much of anything at all.
The Amazon Fire TV set-top box just got a lot more worthwhile for people wanting to add HBO to TVs without getting additional cable boxes. That is, unless you’re a Comcast customer. [More]
Not even a year ago, Time Warner Cable was spurning the romantic advances of Charter Communications and its $37.3 billion offer of wedded bliss, all because it knew that Comcast was waiting in the wings with a more expensive proposal. But in case the Comcast/TWC marriage fails to get the blessing of federal regulators, Charter’s billionaire backer says he’s ready to be Time Warner Cable’s rebound relationship. [More]
Comcast’s plans to buy Time Warner Cable are obviously heavily under review at the federal level, and states are reviewing the merger plans with a gimlet eye as well. But thanks to the quirks of the way cable agreements developed, the cities that cable companies serve have the power to allow or block new companies from coming in and taking over. And a city in Kentucky this week became the latest potentially to throw a wrench in the grand Comcast/Time Warner Cable/Charter plan by doing just that.
Weeks after city leaders in Lexington, KY, made it clear that they are not pleased about the promise of being passed around like a hot potato from Time Warner Cable to Comcast to Charter, the City Council of Worcester, MA, is also laying out the unwelcome mat for Comcast. [More]
Two years ago, the people of Lexington, KY, became Time Warner Cable customers when the company acquired Insight Communications. Now TWC is being bought by Comcast, meaning Lexington residents would be switched again. But it gets more complicated, as Lexington is one of the markets that Comcast would then hand over to Charter. Four different cable companies in fewer than five years has members of the Lexington city council saying “no more.” [More]