Charter Communications is poised to gain FCC approval to join with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and streaming looms large in the deal.
The companies said Tuesday that the deal would create the second-largest U.S. cable operator. Charter, based in Stamford, Conn., is currently the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., with 4.3 million video customers, mostly in the Midwest, West and South. Bright House is the sixth-biggest with 2 million customers, mostly in Tampa and Orlando, Fla., but also in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California.
Cable MSO Charter Communications, which was outbid in an effort to buy Time Warner Cable last year, is in talks to acquire billionaire Si Newhouse Jr.’s Bright House Networks, people with knowledge of the matter say. The discussions have been ongoing for months and both sides have agreed on the outline of a potential all-stock deal, the sources add.
Bright House Networks has named Alan Mason VP-GM of news and local programming its 24-hour local news channels — Bay News 9 and News 13 — as well as Bright House Sports Network, Local on Demand and InfoMas beginning Dec. 30.
Fox announced Thursday that its new national sports network — Fox Sports 1 — is set to bow Saturday with all major cable, satellite and telco TV operators, including late holdouts DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable. FS1 will be distributed to about 90 million U.S. households, according to Fox.
The broadcaster has begun to warn more than 1.5 million viewers in 14 markets that its stations could disappear from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Network systems at the end of next week unless the companies reach a new retransmission consent agreement. Stations at risk include LIN TV’s NBC, CW, and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Austin, Texas; CBS and CW stations in Buffalo, N.Y.; NBC and CW outlets in Dayton, Ohio; and Fox and CW stations in Green Bay, Wis.
Verizon will pay $3.6 billion to Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks to use a swath of cellphone airwaves that the cable giants own but do not use. That would cement Verizon’s status as the dominant wireless carrier and give it access to valuable spectrum at a time when its primary rival — AT&T — is struggling to expand its network through a controversial proposed merger with T-Mobile.
The newly expanded Pac-12 Conference has partnered with cable operators Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks to create a national network and six regional networks.
The new multi-year retransmission consent agreement covers WTTA Tampa, Fla.; WEAR and WFGX Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla.; WTWC Tallahassee, Fla.; and WABM and WTTO Birmingham, Ala.