NEWS ANALYSIS

Charter’s TWC Bid Hinges On Rutledge’s Skill

As Charter Communications Inc campaigns for investor support for its $37.3 billion bid for Time Warner Cable Inc, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge and his turnaround skills are front and center of that effort. But Rutledge’s track record as COO of Cablevision Systems Corp. from 2004 to 2011 shows that he may not be quite the miracle worker that allies like to portray him as.

Comcast Eyes TWC’s East Coast Markets

No 1 cable provider Comcast, in its talks with Charter about a possible deal to acquire parts of Time Warner Cable, would be interested in an agreement that gives Comcast the New York market and parts of New England, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

TWC Ready To Play Hardball Over Dodger Channel

Barclays To Advise Comcast On TWC Deal

Comcast Corp. has added Barclays Plc as an adviser as it evaluates a potential deal for Time Warner Cable Inc, according to people familiar with the matter. Comcast, the top U.S. cable company, hired Barclays late last year to review its deal options, along with JPMorgan Chase & Co., which it had earlier tapped for advice, the people said.

Charter, Comcast Renew Talks On TWC Bid

Charter Communications reached out to Comcast Corp. yesterday about teaming up to buy Time Warner Cable, after the larger rival rejected its $37.3 billion takeover bid, according to people familiar with the matter. Charter approached Comcast on Wednesday to discuss carving up the second-largest U.S. cable company’s systems and subscribers.

Charter Calls TW Cable ‘Turnaround Project’

Executives with Charter Communications, which has 4.2 million video customers, argued that its $38 billion offer for Time Warner Cable is urgently needed because TWC is rapidly losing customers for key services such as video, voice and even Internet.

TWC Takes Rejected TWC Bid To Investors

Time Warner Cable’s board rejected the $62 billion offer as “grossly inadequate.” Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus said: “In essence, these guys are just trying to get a premium asset at a bargain basement price. This makes the job of fending it off rather straightforward. Our shareholders will see it as what it is, an attempt to steal the company.”

Charter Makes $61.3B Offer For TWC

Charter Communications Inc. offered to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. for about $132.50 a share, valuing the second-largest U.S. cable provider at more than $61 billion, including debt. The proposal includes about $83 cash per share and about $49.50 in Charter stock, Tom Rutledge, Charter’s CEO, said in an interview. The offer is the third-largest for any global company since 2009, according to Bloomberg data.

TWC Staunched Subscriber Bleed In 4Q

DMAS 73, 83, 122 & 128

Morgan Murphy Sets Retrans Deals With TWC

“With these agreements and cable partnerships our stations will continue to serve our viewers with the best news and entertainment programming in our markets,” said the group’s CEO Elizabeth Murphy Burns.

Viacom, TWC Set New Distribution Deal

The deal includes “expansive” TV Everywhere rights. Also new for Time Warner Cable customers: The availability of Epix.

Time Warner Cable To Continue To Carry NECN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Time Warner Cable says it’s decided to continue to carry New England Cable News for its New England customers. The company says its customers who have access to NECN will continue to get it after Jan. 1, 2014, with no disruption of service. NECN would not comment on the decision.

Tribune, TWC Agree To Retrans Deal

Tribune TV stations in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas and Indianapolis were included in the multi-year distribution deal with Time Warner Cable that also includes Local TV Holdings stations and WGN America.

Liberty Sees $700M In Charter-TWC Synergies

Liberty Media Corp.’s top executives estimate that a merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable could generate roughly $700 million in annual synergies, according to people close to the matter.

FTC Hits TWC With $1.9M Pricing Rule Penalty

Comcast Weighs 3 Options For TWC Deal

Comcast Corp. is examining three scenarios for a potential deal with Time Warner Cable Inc, including a full takeover bid for the second-largest cable operator, people close to the situation say. Top cable provider Comcast is also considering whether it could buy some selective TWC markets, or team up with another cable company besides Charter Communications to bid for all of TWC, the sources say.

TWC Adds Live Local To TV Everywhere In CA

The programming of TV stations in Los Angeles and San Diego is now available to Time Warner Cable subscribers who are also TWC Internet customers and are on their home Wi-Fi networks. They must live in an area that runs from Ventura on the coast to San Bernardino inland and south through San Diego. The addition of the local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates, among about 50 other stations, rounds out a lineup of more than 100 live TV channels that can be watched on smartphones, computers, tablets, Roku streaming devices, Samsung smart TVs or Xbox 360 consoles.

Charter Readies TWC Bid Below $135/Share

Charter Communications Inc. is preparing to send an offer letter to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. as soon as next week, a source close to the matter said today.The offer is expected to be less than $135 per share and will be a combination of cash and stock, said the source, who asked not to be named because the matter is not public.

Bewkes Says Cable Needs To Boost VOD

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes said pay TV distributors need to step up their game when it comes to video on demand. Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday, Bewkes praised the potential VOD has for the entertainment industry, but at the same time, he chastised distributors for not doing more to not only promote VOD but also for having complicated interfaces that frustrate customers.

TWC, Charter Refute Merger Rumors

Two major cable company executives have downplayed the possibility of a merger-buyout. Tom Rutledge, CEO of Charter Communications, says: “Charter doesn’t need to do any deals to make itself a highly valuable business.”

Incoming TWC CEO: In No Rush To Sell

Time Warner Cable’s incoming chief executive Rob Marcus said on Monday he is not in a hurry to sell the company and that management is focused on running the business for the “long haul.”

TWC’s Next CEO Ready To Sell … For A Price

Rob Marcus has a message for Time Warner Cable shareholders: I’m the right guy to decide whether to sell the company. The 48-year-old chief operating officer is replacing Glenn Britt as TWC’s chief executive officer on Jan. 1, amid intense speculation that the company will be acquired. Marcus’s background as Time Warner Inc.’s head of mergers from 2003 to 2005 — and his later years as chief financial officer of the cable business — have given him the experience to know a good deal when he sees it, he said in an interview yesterday.

Pai: FCC Unlikely To Bless Comcast-TWC Deal

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says that any effort by Comcast Corp. to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. would face significant hurdles in Washington, casting doubt on a cable industry consolidation scenario that has grabbed Wall Street’s attention. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

TWC Offers $30 Broadcast-HBO Bundle

Time Warner Cable is beginning to offer subscribers a $29.99 monthly subscription bundle that includes local broadcast channels and HBO. The MSO is targeting “cord nevers” — young consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV — with its “Starter TV with HBO” package.

TWC To Carry Al Jazeera America

Time Warner Cable, YES Need A New TV Deal

Cox Said Mulling TWC Deal, Joining Fray

Cox Communications Inc., the third-largest U.S. cable-television provider, is considering a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc., joining a growing field of prospective bidders that includes Charter Communications and Comcast Corp., a person with knowledge of the deliberations says.

Wall Street Would Cheer A TWC Sale

Wall Street reacted positively to reports of a merger, including the possibility that Comcast and Charter could team up to buy Time Warner Cable and then divide its holdings. Wall Street has been preparing for another wave of consolidation in the cable industry as distributors want to become more muscular to better compete in a technologically complex and competitive landscape. Operators also want more leverage in negotiations with major programmers such as Viacom, Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox.

Once Cable’s King, Malone Wants Crown Back

John C. Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media, is working behind the scenes to gain control of Time Warner Cable, seeking a second act in an industry he once dominated.

Comcast Seeks Advice On Possible TWC Bid

Time Warner Cable’s flirtation with potential merger suitors may include Comcast, which is seeking advice on possible regulatory hurdles if it should pursue a bid, sources close to the situation told CNBC today. According to people familiar with the matter, TWC has made it clear that if it should sell itself, Comcast would be its preferred buyer.

Charter Nears Funding Deal For TWC Bid

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Charter Communications is nearing an agreement with banks to borrow money for a bid for Time Warner Cable, according to people familiar with the situation — a sign that the scrappy cable operator’s effort to engineer a combination of the two companies may be moving into high gear. WSJ subscribers can read the full story here.

DMA 157

TWC, ACA Fighting Mission’s Binghamton Buy

The cable operator and trade group ask the FCC to reject Mission’s $15.25 million purchase of Stainless Broadcasting’s two Binghamton, N.Y., stations, claiming that Nexstar Broadcasting will end up with “de facto control over three of the Big Four broadcast signals and four of the six national broadcast network affiliates” in the market.

4G LTE Wreaking Havoc On Set-Top Boxes

Verizon’s 4G LTE service operates in the 700MHz band and Time Warner Cable recently moved some TV channels to new spectrum assignments into that same band. And because some cable set-top boxes lack the appropriate shielding to block interference, some channels could look pixelated and jerky. Capitol Broadcasting VP Policy and Innovation Sam Matheny explains his personal experience, complete with video.

QUARTERLY REPORT

TWC Tightens Belt, Beats 3Q Earnings Estimates

Charter Weighs Bid For TWC By Year-End

Charter Communications Inc. is weighing a bid for Time Warner Cable Inc before year-end and is trying to devise a deal structure that would lure the No. 2 U.S. cable operator’s shareholders, people familiar with the matter say.

QUARTERLY REPORT

TWC 3Q Took Hit From CBS Retrans Fight

Now we can see why the No. 2 cable company backed down this summer in the retransmission consent contract fight with CBS. Time Warner Cable says this morning that it lost 306,000 video subscribers in the third quarter — which included the 32-day period when CBS stations and channels went dark on its systems.

TWC CEO Britt Says His Cancer Is Back

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt told employees on Tuesday that his cancer has returned but that he will work until his planned retirement at the end of the year.

DirecTV, TWC Considering Aereo-Type Service

DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications are considering capturing free broadcast signals from TV networks to avoid paying billions of dollars in retransmission fees. “If found to be legal, the Aereo concept is very interesting, especially as it relates to retransmission consent fees,” says a TWC spokesperson.

TWC Cuts Deal To Carry Al Jazeera America

Verizon, MSOs Scrap Joint Venture Plan

This was an important part of the controversial $3.6 billion deal that Verizon cut in late 2011 with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable operators. The cable guys ditched their plans to create their own wireless phone service, selling spectrum they controlled to Verizon with an agreement to jointly develop new products and cross-promote each other’s services in markets where they don’t compete head-to-head. But in August the technology venture was quietly “terminated and we are moving in our separate ways on that,” Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told analysts today.