Mar. 5, 2014, 2:53 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.8%) CFO Artie Minson tips off at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference that subscriber trends are improving in Q1 with total relationship adds up over 75K.
- The company lost 50K video subscribers in the first two months of the year, compared to the 217K lost between Q3 and Q4 of last year, but is seeing some positive momentum.
- His comments on bringing Netflix into the cable set top box aren't dismissive, but lean to the non-committal side.
- Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference webcast
Mar. 5, 2014, 10:35 AM
- Dish Network (DISH +1.4%) is considering charging $20-$30 a month for an over-the-top service that could rattle the pay-TV sector.
- A groundbreaking deal with Disney gives Dish a great starting point for content, but it's still working on landing deals with other programmers. The service might include 20 to 30 channels.
- The company believes younger consumers and cord-cutters could be enticed at the lower price points as traditional packages stay north of the $100/month level.
- Cable operators (CVC, TWC, CHTR) and DirecTV (DTV) could feel some pressure if the initiative launches.
Mar. 4, 2014, 9:29 AM| Mar. 4, 2014, 9:29 AM | Comment!
Mar. 3, 2014, 11:02 AM
- Execs with Comcast (CMCSA -1.2%) area leaning heavily on the company's previous compliance with its deal to purchase NBCUniversal as they talk to regulators about the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.9%).
- In a blog post, Comcast highlighted in great detail how it exceeded targets set as a condition of the NBCUniversal purchase.
Feb. 28, 2014, 4:43 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA) reportedly is considering options for how to divest ~3M cable subscribers as part of a takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC), including spinning them off in a new publicly-traded company.
- Regulators may push for the spin-out option because it would create a new competitor; such a new company would be the fourth-largest U.S. cable company by subscribers, trailing the merged CMCSA-TWC, Cox Communications and Charter Communications (CHTR).
- Comcast also may have received interest from several companies that want to buy the cable assets; Charter is interested, Liberty Media (LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei said today on a conference call, and Bright House Networks and Suddenlink are said to have expressed interest.
- Comcast hasn’t picked which cities would be divested or spun out, and sources say it won’t make a decision for at least three months as regulators examine the TWC deal.
Feb. 25, 2014, 7:24 AM
- The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on March 26 to probe the proposed merger between Comcast (CMCSA) and Tim Warner Cable (TWC).
- What to watch: The committee doesn't have any direct oversight on the merger, but will delve into issues of unfair practices in the pay-TV and broadband industry. Net neutrality and cable bundling could also be discussed at length.
Feb. 23, 2014, 8:53 PM
- In what could be a landmark pact for its dealings with other broadband providers, Netflix (NFLX) agrees to pay Comcast (CMCSA) to ensure its shows stream smoothly to the cable operators' customers.
- The debate: Who should bear the cost of upgrading Internet networks to carry the growing volume of online video - broadband providers (like Comcast) or content companies (like Netflix). While some big content names have begun paying the providers for faster and smoother access, Netflix - until now - has been a holdout, and today's agreement likely paves the way for similar deals with major broadband companies like Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Time Warner (TWC).
- The agreement, of course, comes just days after Comcast agreed to buy TIme Warner in a deal which would make it by far the largest provider of broadband in the U.S., and it removes one potential regulatory issue hanging over the acquisition.
- Press release
- From Friday: Signs point to a Netflix/Comcast deal
Feb. 21, 2014, 10:06 AM
- The spread between Time Warner Cable's (TWC -0.9%) share price and Comcast's offer provides investors a nice entry point with an "asymmetric risk/return profile," reasons SA Pro author Chris Demuth.
- He notes both companies have CEOs that know how to negotiate a deal with regulators. The DOJ is viewed as more likely looking to sculpt the industry (think American-US Airways) than scuttle the merger.
- There's also the real possibility of new bids coming down the road.
- TWC currently trades at $140.79, about 12.8% below Comcast's offer price.
Feb. 19, 2014, 12:37 PM
- In addition to drafting net neutrality rules that would prohibit blocking Internet services or discriminating between them (widely expected), the FCC says it will explore eliminating state laws prohibiting municipalities and local government from building their own broadband networks.
- At the same time, the FCC has rejected calls from net neutrality advocates to classify broadband ISPs as common carriers, a move that would subject them to tougher regulations than basic neutrality rules would allow. Also, mobile services are set to remain exempt from neutrality rules.
- Thanks in large part to lobbying from cable and telco ISPs, 20 states have passed laws limiting public broadband investments. With U.S. broadband prices often far higher than those charged for comparable services overseas, and many cable and telco ISPs relying on high-margin broadband services to offset slumping TV and/or voice revenue, there's plenty at stake over the long-term.
- Major ISPs that could be affected: T, VZ, FTR, WIN, CTL, CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC
- Previous: FCC to draft new net neutrality rules, won't appeal Verizon case
Feb. 19, 2014, 10:11 AM
- DirecTV (DTV -0.1%) thinks Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.7%) should offer its SportsNet LA regional sports network as an a la carte option to consumers - instead of forcing it to be part of a larger sports package.
- The comments from the satellite TV provider are an initial salvo in what could be an intense battle with Comcast (CMCSA -0.8%).
- If Comcast swallows up most of TWC it gains leverage with negotiating out a carriage deal on SportsNet LA. On this issue at least DirecTV is on the same side as consumers, noting that not everyone wants to pay for L.A. Dodgers baseball as part of their Pay-TV bill.
Feb. 16, 2014, 2:28 AM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) shareholder Breffni Barrett has sued to block the company's $45.2B sale to Comcast (CMCSA), saying the price is unfair and anyway faces high regulatory obstacles.
- Barrett wants to sue on behalf of Time Warner's shareholders.
- "It has been reported that Time Warner failed to engage in good faith negotiations," Barrett said. The sales process was "woefully deficient," Barrett's lawyers said, while Comcast's offer doesn't take into account Time Warner's "positive momentum going forward."
Feb. 14, 2014, 4:58 AM
- Charter Communications (CHTR) is unlikely to make a counter-bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC), the WSJ reports, due to the gap between Comcast's (CMCSA) $158.82-a-share offer and Charter's $132.50 proposal.
- Instead, Charter is looking at other possible acquisitions, including the 3M managed subscribers that Comcast has pledged to sell in order to win antitrust approval for its deal.
- Charter will also look at other cable-TV firms, with one possible target Cox Communications.
Feb. 13, 2014, 9:47 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA -3.4%) is on the offensive already with the DOJ on why its acquisition of Time Warner Cable TWC should go through.
- In addition to shedding 3M subscribers, the company has committed to extend net neutrality to TWC systems and offer regional sports packages to rival Pay-TV providers at a reasonable cost.
- Comcast guarantees some carriage of non-commercial educational TV stations - even if they give up their broadcast spectrum.
- Expect the company to also argue vociferously that the growth of streaming concerns such as Netflix and Hulu gives consumers the requisite choices.
- Though the focus on many is on the Pay-TV side, don't forget about broadband: If Comcast swallows TWC it will control close to half of the triple-play services in the U.S. Gigaom crunches the numbers to find the synergies add much faster on the broadband side as well.
- Consumer advocacy groups are already active in pressing politicians for regulatory review on the deal, reports Re/code. It's unlikely that Comcast will pass down savings to consumers if they strike better deals with content providers, they argue.
- Shares of TWC trade below $146 as investors discount that regulators will allow the deal in its current form to go through.
Feb. 13, 2014, 9:13 AM| Feb. 13, 2014, 9:13 AM | 1 Comment
Feb. 13, 2014, 7:16 AM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Comcast (CMCSA) expect their merger to be completed by the end of the year in a deal which will give TWC shareholders about 23% of the combined media giant.
- Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says the company wouldn't be this far along if it didn't think it could get it approved with regulators.
- It's estimated that ~3M subscribers will be divested to give the merged company close to 30M subscribers - about 30% of the total U.S. Pay-TV market.
- Shares of Charter (CHTR) are down 7.0% in the premarket session as the company is left jilted. Comcast (CMCSA) is up 2.1%, while Time Warner Cable gains 11.6% to $151.03 - still 5.2% shy of the acquisition price of $158.82.
Feb. 13, 2014, 6:47 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA) has confirmed reports that it has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45.2B, or $158.82 a share.
- The transaction will generate $1.5B in savings and will be accretive to Comcast's cash flow, and it will be tax free to Time Warner's shareholders.
- The merger will create a cable TV behemoth with 30M subscribers, so it wouldn't be a surprise if it were to face huge, if not insurmountable, regulatory hurdles.
- Time Warner's shares are +12% at $151.50 premarket after closing at $135.31 yesterday. Comcast is +1.4%. (PR)
Time Warner Cable Inc provides video, high-speed data and voice services. The Company also offers security and home management services, networking and transport services and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services.
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