Dec. 2, 2013, 2:58 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.4%) has introduced a "Starter TV with HBO" bundle for $30 a month in a move that could resonate across the Pay-TV industry. The package includes only 20 channels, but customers can expect a fair amount of upselling pressure.
- Comcast (CMCSA -0.7%) started the light bundle trend last month with a similar package.
- What to watch: DirecTV (DTV +1.5%) and Dish Network (DISH +0.1%) as direct competitors with TWC for subscribers could feel the most pressure in the industry to come out with a smaller bundle.
Dec. 2, 2013, 8:19 AM
- A massive deal by Rogers Communications (RCI) to buy the rights to broadcast NHL hockey in Canada is tied to preventing cord-cutting, according to industry watchers.
- Analysts call the move by the company a "reasonably priced" insurance policy against long-term cash flow erosion.
- In the U.S., ESPN's NFL and college football packages have helped prop up carriage fees for Disney (DIS) - but haven't stemmed subscriber losses for Pay-TV operator's (CHTR, TWC, CVC, DISH, DTV).
- Still, live sports programming is seen as critical to keeping the bundled network model in place for the industry and future sports rights bidding could go sky-high.
- Previous on cord-cutting: Subscriber losses in the U.S.
Nov. 29, 2013, 8:26 AM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) faces an uphill battle to convince Pay-TV operators to pay the hefty carriage fees for the company's regional SportsNet L.A. network which includes L.A. Dodgers baseball.
- The cable operator is expected to ask for $5 a month for each TWC subscriber, a fee that reportedly jumps to $8 within five years. Negotiations are reportedly going very slowly as cable/satellite players balk at the high rate for a new unproven network.
- What to watch: TWC has only a couple of months before the Dodgers break into spring training with no deals in place yet for AT&T’s U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, and Verizon FiOS.
Nov. 27, 2013, 3:46 PM
Nov. 26, 2013, 3:32 PM
- A report on a potential bid by Cox Communications to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC +3%) has brought more buyers into the Pay-TV sector again.
- The WSJ says its sources indicate a final decision by Cox hasn't been made yet. The chase could be rather interesting with several joint and single bidders now in the mix.
- Cablevision (CVC +3.7%), Charter Communications (CHTR +1.1%), Dish Network (DISH +3.2%), and DirecTV (DTV +1.6%) are all higher for the day on the ongoing merger chatter - while Comcast (CMCSA +0.1%) is level with its bid seen as slightly more problematic and the company unreachable as an acquisition.
- Sector-related: No denying impact of cord-cutting.
Nov. 26, 2013, 3:14 PM
Nov. 26, 2013, 1:16 PM
- Over the last three calendar years an estimated 5M cable and broadband subscribers have been lost as the Pay-TV sector continues to feel the impact of cord-cutting and the coming of age of cord-nevers.
- The consumer shift toward viewing content on the Internet and mobile devices is so well-entrenched that the industry could dip below the 40M subscriber mark for the first time in over five years. A major surprise is that the viewing slump also include major sporting events which were once considered the lynchpin strategy to prevent the cord-cutting phenomenon. (BI chart)
- The recent surge in cable/media stocks is a result of the industry deciding it won't just sit on its hands amid stalled growth and will be open to consolidation.
- Previous: Putting a number to cord-cutting.
- Related stocks: CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DISH, DTV.
- Related ETFs: PBS.
Nov. 25, 2013, 7:53 AM
- Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker looks at what a joint Comcast (CMCSA)/Charter (CHTR) bid for Time Warner Cable (TWC) would look like, with speculation of such a deal ripe (see here and here).
- "There has been much TWC M&A speculation ever since Dr. John Malone took a 27% stake in CHTR in March of this year. Since that time, our view has been (and continues to be) that a break up (rather than an outright purchase by one player) of TWC is most logical; so, we were not surprised by recent press reports suggesting that CMCSA and CHTR might be working together to generate a joint bid for the cable company."
- On the value, she writes: "We calculate ~$1.4B of annual synergies for a CMCSA-TWC partial bid, and ~$700M for CHTR for a CHTR-TWC partial bid, leading to a potential bid of $160 for TWC shares."
- TWC closed +10% on Friday. CHTR was +6%. CMCSA was +4.4%
Nov. 25, 2013, 1:59 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter (CHTR) have reportedly discussed breaking up Time Warner Cable (TWC) in any joint bid for the company in order to overcome antitrust objections to a deal.
- The transaction would resemble Comcast's and Time Warner's acquisition of Adelphia Communications in 2006, when Comcast gained 1.7M customers and Time Warner 3.3M.
- A break-up of Time Warner would also make it easier for Charter to gain financing, given that it's much smaller than Time Warner.
- Meanwhile, the NYT carries a profile of John Malone, whose Liberty Media (LMCA) owns 27% of Charter. The article reports that Time Warner Cable has contacted Comcast about a possible transaction, leading to early talks.
Nov. 22, 2013, 2:38 PM
Nov. 22, 2013, 1:50 PM
- Comcast (CMCSA +3%) doesn't think it faces unsolvable regulatory obstacles it if buys Time Warner Cable (TWC +7.5%), say sources.
- Based on geographic coverage area, Comcast and Time Warner Cable make for a logical pair to merge, but several media analysts question the ability to get the DOJ fully on board.
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:08 AM
- Shares of Comcast (CMCSA +2.6%) are on the move after CNBC reports that some significant shareholders are telling management to take a look at bidding for Time Warner Cable (TWC +7.3%).
- Though anti-trust issues can't be ignored, many media analysts think a CMCSA-TWC marriage makes more sense than TWC-Charter (CHTR) coupling.
- Don't forget about Cablevision (CVC): Shares are up 6.4% as investors bet it might make it to the altar as well.
Nov. 22, 2013, 8:21 AM
- Shares of Time Warner Cable (TWC) are active in premarket trading after Charter Communications (CHTR) keeps hacking away at putting together a deal to buy the cable player.
- Earlier this week, TWC CFO Arthur Minson didn't even give a glimmer of inspiration that the company would be receptive to an offer during his Q&A at an investor conference.
- TWC +5.5% premarket to $127.50.
Nov. 22, 2013, 2:46 AM
- Charter Communications (CHTR) is reportedly close to a deal with banks to borrow money to fund a cash and stock offer for Time Warner Cable (TWC).
- Other sources of financing could include sovereign wealth funds and wealthy individuals,
- Charter's largest shareholder, Liberty Media (LMCA), could provide investment in order keep its stake in Charter at or above 25% in the event the latter issued stock to help pay for the purchase. Liberty owns 27% at the moment.
- However, a deal remains a tall order. Time Warner has reacted negatively, while its market cap of $34.45B dwarfs Charter's $13.2B.
Nov. 20, 2013, 10:50 AM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.4%) says it would be open to conversations with Netflix (NFLX +1.6%) about integrating its service directly onto the menus of TWC's set-top boxes.
- The comments came from CEO Artie Minson during an industry conference (previous on CHTR).
- A flirtatious relationship exists between Pay-TV players and Netflix, but none of the majors have made the final leap yet.
- Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference webcast
Nov. 20, 2013, 7:12 AM| Nov. 20, 2013, 7:12 AM | Comment!
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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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