TWC Agrees To Dodgers TV Arbitration

Time Warner Cable is willing to let an arbitrator determine a fair price for SportsNet LA in the hopes of resolving its dispute with DirecTV and other pay TV providers over distribution of the Dodgers-owned channel.

Lawmakers: FCC Should End Dodgers Snafu

A group of Southern California lawmakers wants the FCC to broker a deal to end the bitter standoff between Time Warner Cable and other pay TV providers over distribution of SportsNet LA, the new channel that is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Riches & Risks For Fox In TW Takeover

Four of 10 dollars spent by U.S. pay-television operators on carriage fees would go to 21st Century Fox if its takeover bid for Time Warner Inc. succeeds.

Little Progress In DirecTV-TWC Dodger Talks

While the two companies are still talking, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are still very far apart on a deal to carry SportsNet LA, the new television home for Dodger baseball.

Charter And Comcast Reach Subscriber Deal

Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications reached a deal for Comcast to divest millions of subscribers, helping it smooth over regulatory concerns involving its $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable. As part of the agreement, Comcast will divest about 1.4 million existing Time Warner Cable customers directly to Charter for cash.

Study: Comcast Basic Cable Prices Up Most

Time Warner Cable was the only major pay TV company to reduce the price of basic cable TV over the past four years, according to a new report. TWC reduced the advertised price of TV service by 2.5% between 2009 and 2013, according to Free Press. Meanwhile, Comcast, which moved in April to buy TWC for $45 billion, raised its advertised basic TV rates by 68% over the same period

Comcast, TWC Execs Grilled By Lawmakers

Senior executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable were grilled for more than three hours Wednesday about their proposed merger by a mostly skeptical Senate Judiciary Committee concerned that the more than $40 billion deal would be bad for consumers and competition.

Comcast Makes Its Case For TWC Deal

The cable giant says the proposed $45 billion acquisition will actually increase competition in the TV and broadband markets. The two cable giants together “will bring to millions of households and businesses of all sizes the next generation of broadband Internet, video, voice and related technologies and services,” Comcast told the FCC.

Public Interest Groups Blast Comcast-TWC

More than 50 public interest groups submitted a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calling the proposed merger of cable providers “unthinkable” and urging it to block the deal. It also asked the same of the Justice Department.

Questions For Comcast As It Looks To Grow

As the company prepares to defend its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable at a Senate hearing this week, some obvious questions require answers.

MARKET SHARE

Watching TV On Your Own Time

TWC Says Dodgers Ch. Talks With DirecTV Are Over

Comcast Stock Drop Complicates TWC Deal

The Wall Street Journal reports that a 10% drop in Comcast’s share price has reduced the value of its all-stock offer for Time Warner Cable to $143.55 a share from $158.82 a share — possibly creating an opening for Charter. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

Charter To TWC Shareholders: Reject Comcast

Charter said the risk of regulatory rejection of the merger, combined with probable delays, made it in the interest of Time Warner Cable shareholders to turn down the deal.

WGA Urges FCC To KO Comcast-TWC Deal

The Writers Guild of America has offered a chilling picture of the future of television to the FCC in a bid to block the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. “The FCC should deny the proposed merger,” the WGA said in a brief filed with the FCC on Friday, noting that the merged entity “would control almost 30%” of the cable and satellite TV market.

Comcast-TWC Deal Probed By States

Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is being probed by a group of states that are joining a federal review of whether the deal violates antitrust law.

Economist: Block Comcast/TWC Deal

Last month Comcast announced that it would buy Time Warner Cable, the largest provider of TV and broadband after Comcast, for around $45 billion. In the coming weeks the Department of Justice and FCC will begin to review the merger. They should be sceptical.

L.A. Suing TWC For Millions In Franchise Fees

City attorney Mike Feuer said that he’s going after Time Warner Cable in a nearly $10 million lawsuit alleging that the cable giant has refused to pay fees owed the city since 2011 while raking in billions in revenue.

DMA 36

TWC To Launch 24-Hour News In San Antonio

The cable system already has a 24-hour news channel in Austin, TWC News on Channel 8, which was initiated 15 years ago. Time Warner Cable is mum on details of the new channel: “We will provide more information in the near future,” said Melissa Sorola, director of public relations for Time Warner-Texas.

Media Industry Worries About Comcast-TWC

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Comcast’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable has sparked media-industry fears that the combined giant would have too much influence over everything from cable industry pricing to broadband-related services. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

Franken Blasts Comcast-TWC Merger

The most camera-ready opponent of Comcast’s merger plans with Time Warner Cable — who, ironically, owes his big break to Comcast-owned NBC — went on CBS This Morning to once again blast the proposed merger, saying “consumers will end up paying more, there will be less competition, there will be less innovation and, worse, even worse service.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) this morning told CBS This Morning he sent out an email to his constituents to get their “feelings about what kind of service they get from Comcast” and whether they think the proposed deal “will be good.”

Sen. Franken Questions Comcast’s TWC Buy

Sen. Al Franken is wondering: If Comcast failed to keep its promises in the NBCUniversal deal, why should it be trusted with Time Warner Cable? The Minnesota Democrat is questioning whether Comcast has adequately complied with Net Neutrality, local content and unbundled access to Internet services — promises it made as part of the NBC acquisition — and has raised concerns that the Time Warner deal could raise cable prices.

TWC Adds ‘Broadcast TV Fee’ To Bills

Time Warner Cable has announced that a 40% increase in retransmission consent fees is forcing the company to add “a new line item called the Broadcast TV fee” onto customer bills to “make customers more aware of these rising costs.”

Comcast-TWC May Prompt A La Carte Pricing

What’s the biggest complaint of cable and satellite customers? I have to pay all of this money for a whole bunch of channels I don’t even watch. That era’s about to come to an end after approval of the Time Warner Cable-Comcast deal. But expect what DirecTV did to The Weather Channel to happen 100 times over.

COMMENTARY BY STEVE DONOHUE

Could Comcast-TWC Go The Way Of TCI-Bell Atlantic?

Comcast TWC Buy Could Kill CBS Deal

The new retransmission consent contract CBS Corp. signed with Time Warner Cable last summer after a bitter fight could be a casualty of Comcast Corp.’s proposed acquisition of the pay-TV operator. According to people familiar with the deal, it does not include provisions protecting all the terms of the pact should Time Warner Cable be acquired by a distributor with a sweeter arrangement. These people requested anonymity because the agreement is confidential.

NEWS ANAYLSIS

Comcast-TWC Would Be Local Ad Force

BIA/Kelsey’s Mark Fratrik on the announced Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal: “The combination of these two companies should make them more formidable in the local advertising marketplace. Already, local cable systems are becoming stronger competitors in the local advertising marketplace.”

NEWS ANALYSIS

Stealthily, Comcast Fortifies Its Arsenal

With the Time Warner Cable deal, Comcast would not only lock up 30 percent of the cable market, but pricing leverage in all directions — with customers, networks and over-the-web providers like Netflix.

OTA TV To Seek Quid Pro Quo From Comcast

A promise to not fight retransmission consent tops the list of things broadcast TV operators want in exchange for not trying to derail the proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.

Time For Comcast To Use Its Political Clout

Will Comcast’s political ties help it earn regulatory approval for its purchase of Time Warner Cable? It can’t hurt. Those that opposed Comcast’s big merger with NBCU were pretty stunned when the deal was approved three years ago. They shouldn’t have been. Every time Comcast CEO Brian Roberts appeared before a hearing, it was practically a love fest. Last year alone, Comcast spent more than $18.8 million on lobbying to influence issues like net neutrality, retransmission consent, and other cable laws, making it the seventh largest spender, per the Center for Responsive Politics.

Comcast TWC Merger To Reshape U.S. Pay TV

Comcast Corp’s proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable could face close scrutiny from U.S. antitrust regulators because of the deal’s potential to reshape the country’s pay TV and broadband markets. The company resulting from the merger of the top two U.S. cable service providers would boast a footprint spanning from New York to Los Angeles, with a near 30% share of the pay TV market as well as a strong position in providing broadband Internet services. 

 

Comcast: TWC Won’t Affect Station Relations

“Nothing about this deal changes the way Comcast will deal with retransmission consent negotiations,” said a Comcast spokesperson. “Once the deal closes TWC will be part of Comcast and thus our practices will govern.”

Hurdles Ahead For Comcast-TWC Deal

The bid by Comcast to acquire Time Warner Cable would combine America’s two largest cable companies — but there are plenty of hurdles ahead before it can be a $45.2 billion done deal. The Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission will examine the deal for antitrust concerns, and the FCC will decide if the merger is in the public interest.

Comcast Buying TWC For $45 Billion

Comcast Corp. has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. for $158.82 a share in an all-stock deal, combining the nation’s top two cable TV companies. It will make Comcast, which also owns NBCUniversal, a dominant force in both creating and delivering entertainment to U.S. homes.

Apple Said Planning New Set-Top Box

Apple Inc. is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box as early as April and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable and other potential partners to add video content, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Apple is aiming to have the device available for sale by the Christmas holidays, though the release date could change.

Charter’s Bid For A Deal In Cable Heats Up

In its most aggressive move yet to take over Time Warner Cable, Charter is proposing a full slate of directors to its target’s board.

Cable Merger Future-Proofs Against Internet

Charter Communications’ $38 billion bid to take over the much-larger Time Warner Cable Inc. is an attempt to future-proof its business by getting its foot in the door of millions more homes wired for Internet service.

Time Warner Cable Loses SD Super Bowl Feed

Charter May Raise TWC Bid Within Weeks

Charter Communications Inc is discussing raising its bid for Time Warner Cable Inc as soon as in the next two weeks, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could pressure its reluctant rival ahead of a proxy deadline. Charter is considering a higher bid in the low $140s per share range, the people said on Friday, up from its current $132.50 per share offer that values the second-largest U.S. cable operator at $37.3 billion based on shares outstanding.

FCC Gets Pitched On Sharing Limitations

Public interest watchdog groups held a lobbying session at the FCC earlier this month, making a case for barring joint sales and shared services agreements in which the stations share management or in which one of the stations in the combo sells 15% or more of the advertising time of the other.