Charter Communications, Inc. (CHTR) - NASDAQ
  • Tue, Jul. 19, 2:43 PM
    • Following in the foosteps of Univision, Fox News (FOX -0.4%, FOXA -0.6%) has now sued Charter Communications (CHTR -0.6%) for breach of contract over a burgeoning dispute tied to channel carriage deals.
    • Like Univision, which sued earlier this month, Fox News is suggesting that Charter is trying to illegally apply the (lower) carriage rates of Time Warner Cable -- which it recently acquired -- to carry Fox News and Fox Business.
    • As in the earlier case, Charter is sticking to its legal guns: “We have a contract with Fox News and expect them to honor it ... We have not yet seen the complaint.”
    | Tue, Jul. 19, 2:43 PM
  • Thu, Jul. 14, 1:40 PM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says in a blog post that he won't offer up new rules regarding retransmission-rights negotiations between TV programmers and providers.
    • The stance comes alongside an increasing environment for disputes and lengthy blackouts of TV service as pay-TV companies and content creators tussle over the increasing costs of programming.
    • Based on staff review, "it is clear that more rules in this area are not what we need at this point ... So, today I announce that we will not proceed at this time to adopt additional rules governing good faith negotiations for retransmission consent."
    • Wheeler says Congress could yet expand the FCC's scope of authority which could provide for more action. But "What we need is not more rules, but for both sides in retransmission consent negotiations to take seriously their responsibility to consumers."
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) are in the middle of an ongoing fight, including a blackout.
    • Pay TV players: CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC/OTCPK:ATCEY, T, DISH, VZ, FTR, CTL
    | Thu, Jul. 14, 1:40 PM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 13, 7:31 PM
    • House testimony today indicates that an FCC proposal to open the market for TV set-top boxes may be losing its majority.
    • FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel -- considered a swing vote here -- acknowledged under questioning that the proposal (voted to move forward on party lines in February) was flawed.
    • Asked by Rep. Marsha Blackburn to answer only yes/no, Rosenworcel and GOP commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly said "yes" to the question "Do you agree that the initial FCC set-top proposal is flawed?" Rosenworcel also said "yes" to "Do you agree that if the FCC is to move forward, it should follow a different approach than outlined in the NPRM?"
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler admitted that a "Ditch the Box" counter-proposal from the TV industry, focused on using apps, showed "promise," but said "One page is not a proposal; it is a press release."
    • Pay TV players: CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC/OTCPK:OTCPK:ATCEY, T, DISH, VZ, FTR, CTL
    | Wed, Jul. 13, 7:31 PM | 13 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 8, 12:27 PM
    • Univision has sued Charter Communications (CHTR +0.9%), saying Charter is breaching a carriage contract under the cover of its acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC).
    • Univision says Charter is twisting language to pay under-market rates based on an old Time Warner Cable deal. Charter, for its part, says "We have a long-term contract with Univision, and we expect them to honor it.”
    • Months of carriage negotiations before a June 30 expiration were forestalled as Charter pursued TWC and Bright House Networks, $66B in deals that closed May 18.
    • Charter is trying to claim that the old TWC deal should be the contract in place through June 2022, Univision says. The Spanish-language broadcasting giant is seeking damages to make up for the difference between the prices paid.
    | Fri, Jul. 8, 12:27 PM
  • Tue, Jul. 5, 1:34 PM
    • Charter Communications (CHTR -0.3%) is adding a former Cablevision exec in a key leadership role as it moves forward with integrating Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.
    • David Ellen is joining the company from Cablevision in the role of senior executive vice president; he'll oversee a number of functions including programming, news & sports Networks, strategic policy development, regulatory compliance, human resources, communications and security, along with legal support for several areas.
    • Ellen was executive VP and general counsel at Cablevision guiding that company's sale to Altice, along with legal defense of the company's cloud-based DVR and support of in-home streaming of the company's entire cable service.
    | Tue, Jul. 5, 1:34 PM
  • Fri, Jul. 1, 3:33 PM
    • The FCC says it will reveal the names of bidders in the forward auction portion of the broadcast incentive spectrum auction, setting the start of the next phase likely in mid-July.
    • There are about 100 parties eligible to bid and they have a payment due by 5 p.m. today, which will validate a final list. A 15-business-day period has to follow public notice of the bidders.
    • The reverse auction concluded this week with the agency needing to raise $88B to cover $86.4B in payments to broadcasters, a sum that could mean changes to the process (including multiple rounds) as the FCC works to scare it up.
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
    | Fri, Jul. 1, 3:33 PM | 30 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 29, 7:45 PM
    • The FCC has set the cost of the spectrum being sold in the broadcast spectrum incentive auction at a whopping $86.4B -- a sum that wireless carriers may balk at.
    • That means that the FCC might have to sell less spectrum than had been expected, or use multiple rounds to settle bidding by broadcasters.
    • The current stage is the reverse auction, where broadcasters bid low to give up their low-band airwaves to the FCC -- and participation has been strong from broadcasters who might have "significantly inflated expectations," says analyst Roger Entner. That's to be followed by a forward auction round of bidding by carriers.
    • A second round of reverse auction with the broadcasters may be needed, which could slow the entire process into 2017.
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
    | Wed, Jun. 29, 7:45 PM | 38 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 24, 2:48 PM
    • New Charter -- the result of Charter Communications' (CHTR -4%) takeover of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks -- is headed for a solid Q2 despite integration challenges, UBS expects.
    • That's in part due to challenges at telecom competitors, including Frontier Communications, which has struggle to integrate wireline customers it got from Verizon.
    • UBS expects Charter's revenue growth to hold at 6.8% and for the company to add 248,000 broadband subscribers, along with a now-standard seasonal decline in video subs (of about 40,000). A year ago, the company lost 74,000 video subs.
    • The firm thinks Charter's synergy guidance is overly conservative as well, at 5% of cash opex vs. a more typical 10-15%.
    | Fri, Jun. 24, 2:48 PM
  • Thu, Jun. 23, 12:52 PM
    • Pay TV providers are on Capitol Hill today in a hearing focusing fire on the industry's gutter-bound reputation for customer service and billing problems.
    • The hearing accompanies the arrival of a pair of Senate reports addressing the issue and focusing heavily on Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Time Warner Cable (now the same company) and their approach to customer overcharges.
    • One report from Sen. Claire McCaskill noted TWC and Charter made "no effort" to trace equipment overcharges unless customers pressed for it, and that the two overbilled customers $639,948 nationwide just between January and April of this year. Charter acknowledged overbilling customers by at least $442,691/month.
    • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), DirecTV (NYSE:T) and Dish (NASDAQ:DISH) fared better at addressing or preventing overcharges, that report says. A second McCaskill report faulted customers service and billing issues overall.
    • In today's hearing, former TWC exec John Keib said the company had been undercharging more than it had been overcharging. Meanwhile, Comcast's (CMCSA) Tom Karinshak (senior VP for customer service) said in the hearing that the industry hasn't always made customer service a priority and "I am sorry for that."
    | Thu, Jun. 23, 12:52 PM | 32 Comments
  • Wed, May 18, 7:15 PM
    • Finishing a money shuffle tied to today's closure of Charter's $56B buyout of Time Warner Cable and $10B purchase of Bright House Networks, Liberty Interactive (QVCA -0.5%) has completed a $2.4B investment in family company Liberty Broadband (LBRDA +0.2%).
    • That partly fed Liberty Broadband's purchase of $5B of stock in New Charter (NASDAQ:CHTR). Liberty Interactive got newly issued shares of Liberty Broadband Series C common stock at $56.23/share.
    • The two Libertys exchanged their shares of TWC stock one-for-one for shares of New Charter, and Liberty Interactive granted Liberty Broadband a proxy and right of first refusal to its new shares.
    • Liberty Interactive ends up with 42.68M shares of Liberty Broadband Class C, and 5.36M shares of New Charter Class A.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Wed, May 18, 7:15 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, May 18, 10:05 AM
    • Charter Communications (CHTR +0.2%) has closed its long-in-the-works $56B takeover of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and a $10B buyout of Bright House Networks, creating the country's second-biggest cable company.
    • Charter has inched up to a new 52-week high this morning. Shares have risen 24.5% over the past 12 months.
    • As planned, TWC shareholders get either $100/share or $115/share depending on which New Charter exchange ratio they chose.
    • Meanwhile, at the TWC closing, Liberty Broadband (LBRDA +1%) bought $4.3B of newly issued shares of Charter at $195.70/share (Charter's closing price on May 20, 2015) including the impact of the merger exchange ratio. Tied to the Bright House closing, Liberty Broadband bought $700M of new Charter shares at $191.33/share including exchange impact.
    • Charter will continue to be led by Tom Rutledge, serving as chairman, president and CEO. Charter's board will have 13 directors, including seven independent directors, two designated by Bright House's owner Advance/Newhouse, and three designated by Liberty Broadband (including John Malone and Greg Maffei).
    • Previously: Arrivederci 'Time Warner Cable'; company to be called Charter (May. 17 2016)
    | Wed, May 18, 10:05 AM
  • Wed, May 18, 9:15 AM
    | Wed, May 18, 9:15 AM
  • Tue, May 17, 6:27 PM
    • On the verge of closing its multibillion-dollar deal, Charter Communications (CHTR -0.1%) confirms it will phase out the brand "Time Warner Cable" (TWC -0.1%) over time, as well as that of Bright House Networks, being acquired at the same time.
    • As always, while it will take time for changes to become more apparent, "the company will be called Charter and the products and services will be marketed under the ‘Spectrum’ brand,” says spokesman Alex Dudley.
    • It's the chance to get rid of a brand that earned hatred from consumers who complained about poor service. In the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the company's pay TV service tied cable peer Mediacom with the worst overall rank across any industry (scoring 51 out of 100 points; Charter scored a 63 in pay TV). TWC's 58 in broadband was one better than Charter's score of 57, though.
    • The deal will make Charter the No. 2 cable operator, behind Comcast.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Tue, May 17, 6:27 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, May 13, 10:43 AM
    • Following a final regulatory click in California yesterday, Charter Communications (CHTR -0.8%) says it will close on its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.4%) and Bright House Networks on Wednesday.
    • Some movement in TWC's trading price may be attributable to investors sorting out the math involved in their part. At closing, what TWC stockholders (aside from Liberty Broadband and Liberty Interactive) will receive depends on which of two options they chose.
    • In "option A," they get $100 in cash and shares in New Charter equivalent to 0.5409 shares of legacy Charter for each TWC share. Option B gets them $115/cash and New Charter shares equivalent to 0.4562 share of legacy Charter for each TWC share.
    • Actual shares of New Charter received would be determined by multiplying one of those exchange ratios with the parent merger exchange ratio of 0.9042 (number of New Charter shares that legacy Charter shareholders get for each legacy share).
    • The exchange agent estimates that of 285M share of TWC common, 183M made a valid election and 180M of those chose option A, with the other 3M choosing option B; shares that didn't choose in time will receive option A.
    • Now read Time Warner Cable And Charter Communications Merger: What You Need To Know »
    | Fri, May 13, 10:43 AM
  • Thu, May 12, 2:10 PM
    • Charter Communications (CHTR -0.2%) has won approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, the final hurdle in its pursuit of Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.2%) and Bright House Networks.
    • That means the deal can close in the coming days, a spokesman said.
    • In giving its approval, the FCC valued the deal for TWC at $78B and the purchase of Bright House at $10.4B.
    • At the PUC meeting, several public speakers came out in favor of the buyout before a few opposed.
    • A consummated deal makes Charter the second-biggest cable company in the U.S. (and third-biggest pay-TV operation, behind Comcast and AT&T/DirecTV) with about 18.4M subscribers.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Thu, May 12, 2:10 PM | 5 Comments
  • Wed, May 11, 3:21 PM
    • Just a day ahead of what could be the final milestone in Charter Communications' (NASDAQ:CHTR) near-$90B in deals for Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and Bright House Networks, a watchdog at California's Public Utilities Commission is pointing to deficiencies in the proposed conditions, CTFN reports.
    • The PUC has been set for a Thursday vote on the deals -- and with FCC approval and a DOJ sign-off in hand, and a California administrative law judge recommending approval, Charter has been champing at the bit to close.
    • But any of the five commissioners can issue a hold on the vote that would kick it to the next scheduled hearing, on May 26.
    • Ana Maria Johnson with the Office of Ratepayer Advocates is telling CTFN that the ALJ's conditions are "insufficient" on data caps, broadband deployment, and forced arbitration of disputes.
    • Among other things, Johnson notes that the FCC conditions prevent New Charter from imposing data caps for seven years from closing, while the ALJ's conditions call for three years. "It shouldn’t be less than what the FCC requires," she says.
    • Now read Seeking Alpha's Market Challenge: Cable Deals »
    | Wed, May 11, 3:21 PM | 3 Comments
Company Description
Charter Communications, Inc. provides broadband communications services. Its services includes Spectrum TV™ video entertainment programming, Spectrum Internet™ access, and Spectrum Voice™. It's advertising sales and production services are sold under the Spectrum Reach™ brand. The... More
Sector: Services
Industry: CATV Systems
Country: United States