QUARTERLY REPORT

Charter Exceeds 2Q Forecasts

Charter exceeded Wall Street estimates in the second quarter, reporting earnings of $5.29 a share and revenue of $12.8 billion. Analysts’ consensus expectation was for earnings of $4.79 and revenue of $12.6 billion.

ViacomCBS-Charter Carriage Deal Includes Streaming Services

ViacomCBS and Charter said they have a new multi-year distribution agreement that includes carriage of ViacomCBS’s broadcast stations and cable networks, as well as a license to sell the ViacomCBS streaming services to Charter’s Spectrum customers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. One of the reasons for merging Viacom with CBS was to give the company greater clout with distributor like Charter.

TV Operators Team Up To Simplify Fragmented Ad Market

Comcast, Charter Communications and Vizio, among others, have created a consortium to identify ways to simplify and scale an increasingly complex TV ad business.

Charter: Breaking Point Nears For Pay TV Bundles

Charter still values being able to sell traditional video packages alongside its broadband products but CFO Chris Winfrey suggested that a breaking point is coming. Speaking at an Evercore investor event, Winfrey reaffirmed that video is still an in-demand product and that it’s still profitable for Charter. But he warned changes are needed to ensure that his company can continue assembling attractive products that can be packaged for different customers with different budgets.

Multicultural News Network Lands Distribution Deal With Charter

The upcoming 24-hour news network for multicultural communities has a multi-year nationwide linear distribution agreement that will make it available to Charter’s Spectrum customers upon the network’s commercial launch.

Charter CEO’s Pay Rises To $38.8M In 2020

Charter Communications Chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge’s compensation at the U.S. cable and Internet giant rose sharply from $8.74 million in 2019 due to option awards figuring in his overall pay package.

NBCU Expands U.S. Addressable Footprint To 45M HHs

A new partnership with Charter Communications adds nearly 40% more households and expands inventory for marketers.

Former NY1 Anchors Who Settled With Charter Communications Claim Retaliation In New Suit

Charter President Bickham Sets Retirement

Charter Communications President and COO John Bickham will ride off into the sunset when he retires at the end of 2022. To date, Bickham has spent 35 years in the cable industry with additional stops at Time Warner Cable and Cablevision before the latter was bought by Altice USA.

Charter, Byron Allen Resolve $10 Billion Discrimination Lawsuit

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks said it has “resolved and withdrawn” its lawsuit against Charter Communications. The one-sentence joint statement from Entertainment Studios and Charter did not elaborate on whether Allen’s TV channels would now be carried by Charter or if any money changed hands.

Comscore Gets Fresh Start With Charter, Qurate, Cerberus Funds

Comscore, whose weak financial position has hampered its ability to compete as a provider of media measurement, has wiped out its debt with a $204 million strategic investment from Charter Communications, Qurate Retail and Cerberus. In addition to cleaning up its balance sheet, the deal gives Comscore access to data that will help it provide the new types of audience and impression based measurement that are being demanded by a changing media and advertising industry.

Charter Settles With Women Who Filed 2019 Gender, Age Discrimination Lawsuit Against NY1

Spectrum’s Buffalo Network Lays Off 15

Court Rules Byron Allen Suit Vs. Charter Can Proceed

Charter Selling $1.5B In New Debt

The nation’s second largest cable operator, Charter Communications, said Monday it’s selling $1.5 billion in debt and could use the fresh cash to repay existing debt and fund share buybacks. It expects to close the offering of senior unsecured notes due in 2031 on July 9.

Charter Seeks FCC OK To Charge Streamers

The telecom giant says the online video market is flourishing and there’s no reason to hold it back from negotiating interconnection agreements with some of the world’s largest companies.

Comcast, Charter, ViacomCBS Join Forces

Three of the nation’s largest pay-TV companies are taking joint ownership of Blockgraph, a platform designed to make it easier for brands to harness data to serve targeted ads to people watching cable TV, a move that comes as cost-pressured ad buyers are increasingly turning to targeted advertising.

Charter To Distribute HBO Max

The WarnerMedia streaming-video service will be made available to all of Charter’s existing HBO subscribers, the two companies said Wednesday. There will be no additional charge for the new package, but customers will have to sign in to the HBOMax app.

Charter Licenses Dodgers RSN To AT&T

Charter Communications and AT&T have finally reached an agreement on the latter’s carriage of regional sports network SportsNet LA, breaking an impasse that started in 2014.

Nexstar, Charter Create WWLP Local News Deal

A special news feed for Charter subscribers in Berkshire County, Mass., will be launched in the next 30 to 60 days and includes a dedicated journalist to provide regular coverage of issues affecting the various communities.

Here’s A New Model For Local TV News

When Charter Communications executives needed someone to run their Spectrum News operation in Ohio, they found a candidate with just the right amount of TV experience. None. “I’m playing catch-up on the TV part,” says Karl Turner, who held senior editorial jobs at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and Cleveland.com. “And I’m helping to think about stories in a different way.”

Fox, Charter Strike New Carriage Deal

Fox Corp. and Charter Communications today said they struck a new “long term” carriage deal for Fox’s suite of TV networks, the latest in a recent series of agreements Fox has struck with various distributors. The pact covers distribution of Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, BTN and Fox Deportes. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tegna, Charter Strike Retrans Agreement

Charter Communication said Sunday that it reached a long-term retransmission consent deal with Tegna that will keep the broadcast group’s network affiliates available to the cable company’s subscribers. The new contract follows a week of extensions after the old agreement expired.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Cable Clams Up On Its 3.0 Recalcitrance

In the six weeks since Charter Communications executives met with senior FCC staffers to explain their reluctance to carry ATSC 3.0 signals, a continuing flurry of discussions has simmered — usually couched in questions about why Charter picked this moment to voice its opposition to carrying the value-added broadcast signals.

Upstart Tries To Rewrite Local TV News

What if you could build a local television news operation from scratch? How closely would it resemble the typical newsroom of today — say the places where you’ve worked or work now? And how would it be different? That’s what Charter Communications is attempting to do in Los Angeles.

Charter, Disney To Crack Down On Cable Password Sharing

RETRANS

Disney, Charter Reach Multiyear Carriage Deal

Charter and Disney have reached a multiyear carriage agreement, avoiding a blackout of networks including ESPN and ABC. Charter has agreed to carry the ACC Network, a new network in the ESPN family, as part of the deal.

Charter Challenges Broadcasters’ 3.0 Argument

Charter execs put on something of a full court press at FCC last week to talk down broadcaster’s ATSC 3.0 transition. They met with staffers in the Media Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology, as well as aides to four of the five commissioners, including the chairman. “We also discussed the consumer benefits of the ATSC 3.0 transition, noting that broadcasters have yet to define which among those possible uses of the new standard they are interested in pursuing,” Charter said in summarizing the meeting.

RETRANS

Disney, Charter Miss Deadline, But Still Talking

Disney and Charter are still discussing a new multiyear carriage agreement, blowing past Friday’s 12:01 a.m. deadline, as the two sides try to reach a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Two Former NY1 Female Anchors Suing Charter

Thalia Perez and Michelle Greenstein, both of whom were let go by the company in 2017, have filed a lawsuit alleging age, gender as well as pregnancy discrimination.

Disney, Charter Talking About Carriage Fees

Disney is set to renew its multiyear carriage agreement with Charter, the second-largest U.S. pay TV provider, at the beginning of August, according to people familiar with the matter. So far, there are no signs the two sides will have a testy public renegotiation.

Charter Responds To Spectrum News NY1 Anchors’ Suit

Charter Inks Sinclair Deal That Includes Fox RSNs

According to a recent research note, Charter has struck a retrans deal for renewal of Sinclair TV stations that includes the Fox RSNs. Charter declined to comment, but a recent Wolfe Research note declared, “CHTR renewing the Fox RSNs for a ‘slight increase’ is a nice little positive.”

Charter To Launch Streaming Video Service

Charter Communications said it plans to launch an over-the-top streaming video service at the end of March dubbed TV Essentials to its broadband-only customers without a video service, in the cable industry’s latest effort to recapture pay TV subscribers.

Court Won’t Dismiss Allen Suit Against Charter

An appeals court has again denied Charter’s effort to dismiss the claim by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios that the cable operator’s “refusal” to enter into a carriage contract with the programmer was racially motivated. The case now proceeds to trial unless it is settled beforehand.

Tribune And Charter Reach Retrans Deal

The new contract covers Tribune’s 42 television stations and cable network WGN America.

RETRANS

Deadline Looms For Tribune-Charter Contract

Tribune Broadcasting television stations in 24 markets across the United States have begun informing Charter Spectrum subscribers that they may lose the local news, traffic, weather, sports and entertainment programming provided by the company’s 33 television stations in those markets at 12 a.m. ET Jan. 1, 2019, when the contract between Tribune Broadcasting and Spectrum […]

Appeals Court: Byron Allen Cases Can Proceed

A federal appeals court cleared the way for Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks to pursue civil rights suits against two of the nation’s biggest cable operators, Charter Communications and Comcast. These lawsuits seek sizable damages  — $20 billion against Comcast and $10 billion against Charter — for alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act.

Charter Plans 24/7 Local News Channel In L.A.

Cable TV giant Charter Communications is launching a 24-hour local news channel in November that will be available in the 1.5 million homes in greater Los Angeles that receive the company’s Spectrum pay-TV service. The channel would be the first of its kind in L.A., representing a bold effort to challenge decades of dominance by such broadcast stations as KABC, KTLA and Spanish-language KMEX.

EARNINGS CALL

Charter CEO: Video No Longer Standalone Product

Charter President and CEO Tom Rutledge made it clear, amid another quarter of lost video subscribers, that his company’s video business was no longer built to go it alone. “We’re going to use video aggressively. But what we’re saying is, it really isn’t a standalone product in its current situation,” Rutledge said during Tuesday’s earnings call.