Yesterday, 2:29 PM
- Regulators changed their definition of "broadband" Internet by setting it at download speeds of 25 Mbps or faster, in the face of opposition by Internet service providers.
- The move was a sharp increase from the previous definition of 4 Mbps and will likely affect how mergers and competition are viewed, and give steam to municipal broadband partnerships that states (and providers) often try to block.
- Using the new definition, nearly a fifth of Americans (and more than half in rural areas) lack access to broadband, compared to about 6% before.
- For one, Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) CEO Rob Marcus said in today's earnings call: "I think that the notion of defining broadband at 25 Mbps is somewhat arbitrary and I'm not really sure what that is intended to mean. And really I don't anticipate that that has any practical implications for life going forward, or for the DOJ's analysis of the [Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)] deal."
Yesterday, 9:20 AM
- On Time Warner Cable's (NYSE:TWC) earnings conference call, the company waved off persistent attempts to get a hint of 2015 guidance due to the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) deal. Capex of $4.1B in 2014 (up 28%) comprised "accelerated investment in TWC Maxx, improved customer experience and network expansion."
- Revenue growth was offset in part by increasing operating expenses of 2.8%, including increases in programming costs (up 4.7%), sales and marketing (business) costs, and technical operations (residential) costs.
- Q4 Free cash flow of $891M, up 15% Y/Y; full-year free cash flow of $2.35B is down about 10%.
- Previously: TWC misses expectations as video subs continue exodus (Jan. 29 2015)
- Previously: Time Warner Cable misses by $0.06, misses on revenue (Jan. 29 2015)
Yesterday, 8:52 AM
- Time Warner Cable's (NYSE:TWC) earnings miss today comes as it continued to bleed off residential video customers, while business services revenues and ad revenues made up highlights of its revenue growth. Operating income up 4.5%.
- Subscriber breakdowns: Residential video customers net loss of 38K; Residential high-speed data net adds of 168K; residential voice net adds of 295K; residential triple play net adds of 273K. Total customer relationship net adds of 67K.
- Residential services revenue up on increased high-speed data revenue, offset by declines in video and voice.
- Business services revenue up mainly on high-speed data and voice customers as well as cell tower backhaul.
- No full-year guidance offered, given where TWC is with the ongoing Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) buyout.
- Q4 results
- Press release
Yesterday, 6:05 AM| Comment!
Wed, Jan. 28, 8:41 AM
- Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei says that the government will likely approve the giant media merger deals on the table -- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), and AT&T (NYSE:T) with DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) -- but the key issue will be what the firms are forced to give up.
- "My bet would be that all those deals get done," Maffei tells CNBC. "What is the set of regulations or restrictions around them and what the acquiring companies have to agree to, that'll be the rub.
- Liberty's interest in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) is on his mind: "Charter has been an acquirer, is going to continue to be an acquirer" -- and Charter will have room to make buys if Comcast ends up swallowing TWC.
- Previously: Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger review clock running again (Jan. 13 2015)
- Previously: DirecTV hiking prices ahead of AT&T deal's closing (Dec. 29 2014)
Thu, Jan. 15, 12:40 PM
- Barry Diller says there's no stretch left on pay-TV pricing as he dissects the influence of Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the industry.
- He warns on the Prime model where adding subscribers for the company dwarfs concerns on viewership and advertising.
- By the sound of it, Diller isn't recommended staying long cable stocks (CMCSA, TWC, CHTR, CVC) or positive on programmers (SNI, CBS, AMCX, FOXA, VIA, VIAB, MSG, DIS) set to renegotiate carriage deals.
- CNBC interview (video)
- Previously: Woody Allen to direct series for Amazon Studios (Jan. 13)
- Previously: Amazon added over 10M new Prime users during holiday season (Dec. 26, 2014)
Wed, Jan. 14, 4:08 AM
- Building on his previous call for the FCC to regulate broadband service as a utility, President Obama will push the FCC today to overturn state laws that prevent cities from building their own broadband networks.
- The centerpiece of the initiative is a call for the FCC to pre-empt laws in 19 states that can prevent cities and localities from building their own high-speed broadband networks.
- FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has already indicated that he is strongly considering the move.
- Related Tickers: CMCSA, T, VZ, TWC, NFLX, CTL, CHTR, FTR, ELNK
Tue, Jan. 13, 1:56 PM
- The regulatory meter is running again on the merger between Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.7%) and Comcast (CMCSA +0.8%).
- The FCC paused the review to catch up on 7K pages of documents it hadn't accounted for previously.
- A lengthy review of the TWC-CMCSA deal puts the combined company at a slight disadvantage when it re-enters a changed pay-TV landscape.
Tue, Jan. 6, 6:50 AM
Dec. 31, 2014, 8:42 AM
- Streaming: Sony (NYSE:SNE), HBO (NYSE:TWX), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH) are set to unveil streaming products in 2015. The theory of the companies that the skinny bundles will draw in more cord-cutters and cord-nevers than they will cannibalize current pay-TV subscribers will be put to the test. The rush of streaming options could help or hurt Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) depending upon which analysis an investor leans on.
- Theater traffic rebound: Exhibitors (CNK, RGC, AMC, CKEC, IMAX) and movie studios (LGF, VIA, VIAB, DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, TWX) maintain that the decline in theater attendance in 2014 (-6%) was due to a slate of films light on blockbusters. A bounce is forecast for 2015 with high-profile films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jurassic World, Spectre (James Bond), and Mission Impossible 5 all set to premiere - along with the reboot of the Star Wars franchise in December. Capex spending on theater upgrades could also help boost in-theater spending and average ticket price for exhibitors.
- Mergers: If regulators allow the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and AT&T-DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) mergers to sail through it could clear a path for other media combinations, note analysts. Potential buyers include Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Wanda Group, Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), and a TWX-rebuffed 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Content producers which could be targets include Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA), AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), and Scripps Networks (NYSE:SNI). A split-up Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) could also be enticing.
Dec. 23, 2014, 1:52 AM
- The FCC is again pausing its review of the proposed $45B merger of Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), citing delays in getting documents from the latter.
- Imposing an informal 180-day countdown for the review, the FCC is determining whether combining the cable companies is in the public interest.
- Time Warner Cable has promised to produce the missing documents, but the agency is pausing the review at day 104 until Jan. 12, saying it needs extra time to study new submissions.
Dec. 17, 2014, 11:32 AM
- Dish Network (DISH +0.6%) says Netflix might be integrated into the company's upcoming streaming subscription product and be part of its search functions.
- The OTT programming package from the satellite company is set to include Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ABC, A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Travel Channel among other networks. Netflix access will require authentication.
- What to watch: Media analysts think other online TV ventures will face more pressure to include Netflix (NFLX +3.6%) after Dish made its move. There could also be an impact on pay-TV operators (CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DTV) if Netflix gets insides their boxes to cut into VOD revenue.
- Previously: Dish Network brings Netflix into the box
Nov. 13, 2014, 8:46 PM
- Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new online TV package will price at $60 to $70 per month, estimates Re/code.
- It's a level that is twice what Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to charge for a slimmer package, although one that includes ESPN.
- Programming on the Sony streaming service will feature shows from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.
- The pitch from the Japanese media giant is that cord-cutters will be drawn in by the captivating way of accessing the content through gaming consoles. A cutting-edge discovery and recommendations service for users is also highlighted by execs.
- Regulatory watch: Potential rule changes from the FCC could level the playing field for the new streamers as they work out their content deals.
- What to watch: A fragmented pay-TV landscape could benefit content producers (DISCA, CBS, FOXA, DIS, LGF, TWX, AMCX) in the short-term as competition heats up, while creating a pricing headache for cable/satellite/telco players (CMCSA, CVC, CHTR, DISH, T, DTV, VZ, TWC).
- The Netflix factor: Many media analysts consider Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) an add-on for consumers - instead of an either/or decision with online TV.
Nov. 13, 2014, 3:12 AM
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is pushing "full steam ahead" with its acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), despite the regulatory review process and looming regulation governing net neutrality.
- Comcast expected the deal to be completed “sometime in the first quarter and we still believe that today,” says CEO Brian Roberts.
- Roberts reiterated that Comcast opposes the proposals to classify broadband providers as utilities, which would endanger the company's plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to upgrade its networks.
Oct. 30, 2014, 7:46 AM
- Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) reports residential video revenue fell 4% Y/Y to $2.497B in Q3.
- Residential high-speed data revenue +10.9% to $1.62B.
- Programming and content costs +9.6% to $1.326B.
- Average monthly programming costs per residential video subscriber +11.1% to $38.96.
- High-speed data net additions +108K to 11.51M.
- Total customer relationships -18K Q/Q to 14.457M. Triple play customers -24K over the quarter.
Oct. 30, 2014, 6:04 AM| Comment!
TWC vs. ETF Alternatives
Time Warner Cable Inc provides video, high-speed data and voice services in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered cable systems in New York State, the Carolinas, the Midwest, Southern California and Texas.
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