For a second consecutive year, it appears the Dodgers will begin the season in complete TV meltdown, their games hidden from 70% of their fans, their brand slowly wilting with no help in sight. No, there is still no deal between Time Warner Cable and DirecTV. No, there is no resolution expected until at least the middle of the summer.
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.
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.
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.
Robert Marcus, the chief executive of Time Warner Cable, is up for a compensation package worth as much as $79.9 million if the sale of the company to Comcast closes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
The deal includes “expansive” TV Everywhere rights. Also new for Time Warner Cable customers: The availability of Epix.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The CBS-Time Warner deal, regardless of its economic terms, is a watershed event. It presented one of the most politically-appealing invitations for the government to second guess the path of a free market retrans negotiation, and the government declined to do so. Perhaps just as important, viewers came to realize that the sun still rose in the morning despite the CBS blackout, antenna manufacturers enjoyed a sales boost, and a retrans deal was achieved in less time than it typically takes Congress to name a post office.
CBS Corp won large increases in the fees it will receive from Time Warner Cable in its agreement with the cable operator that ended a month-long blackout of CBS, Showtime and other channels in key cities on Monday, analysts say.
The month-long payment dispute has ended and Time Warner Cable customers had their CBS programming restored by 6 p.m. ET Monday.
When it comes to retransmission consent disputes, over-the-air antennas may not be the perfect solution, but they have gotten better. Here’s a look at the digital TV transition and maps of DTV reception in major cities affected by the CBS-TWC dispute.
CBS Corp. aired ads in three major U.S. markets this week urging fans to switch television providers before the start of the professional and college football seasons to pressure Time Warner Cable to end a month-long blackout over fee increases.
Peyton and Eli Manning may play a starring role in bringing the long-running CBS-Time Warner Cable fight to an end while at the same time putting pressure on Washington to change the law at the heart of the dispute. The contract battle, which has dragged on for nearly a month. But if it plays out like other major retrans spats in recent years, a major sports event like the Sept. 15 Manning brothers matchup in the Giants-Broncos game may act as a catalyst to bring the companies together for an agreement.