Aug. 22, 2014, 3:14 PM
- The FCC has asked Comcast (CMCSA -0.3%) for a variety of information in relation to the company's proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%), including some that delve into the company's Internet and content delivery policies.
- One key question posed to Comcast by the agency is whether or not it slows down the delivery of programming from rivals.
Aug. 21, 2014, 11:43 AM
- Hedge funds are having a difficult time of it again this year, up 1% vs. a 7.5% gain for the S&P 500, according to Goldman Sachs, which crunched the numbers on 775 funds with $1.9T in AUM.
- Nevertheless, Goldman's list of 50 stocks which "matter most" to hedge funds has outperformed the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis 66% of the time since 2001. The stocks this quarter (posted in order of the number of funds in which a name is a top-10 holding):
- ACT, AAPL, FB, AGN, AAL, GM, TWC, AIG, MSFT, HTZ, CHTR, MU, WMB, LNG, C, DAL, HCA, APC, CBS, ALLY, GOOGL, APD, NRF, BAC, EBAY, LBTYK, PCLN, VRX, BIDU, DTV, DISH, DG, EQIX, MA, WAG, ARCP, GILD, LINTA, MON, FOXA, VC, AMZN, BRK.A, BRK.B, SUNE, CMCSA, JPM, MIC, CCI, HES, LAMR.
- A special call-out to Northstar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Visteon (NYSE:VC), SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), and Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) for making the list of hedge fund hotels despite their relatively tiny market caps.
Aug. 19, 2014, 2:50 AM
- The National Association of Broadcasters has filed a lawsuit against the FCC's plans to auction off airwaves stating that the plan will incur expense and harm coverage of TV stations.
- The auction is set to take place next year, and will allow TV stations to take bids and sell their airwaves to meet the surging demand of mobile broadband.
- The new lawsuit challenges the regulations stating that it doesn't fully protect broadcasters that don't participate in the auction.
- Broadcasters say that they should not be forced into having their coverage area reduced or to pay out of pocket for the expense of moving their broadcast signal to a new frequency.
- Relevant tickers: CMCSA, TWC, ALLT, LVLT, CCOI, FTR, WIN, CTL, CHTR, CVC, DISH
Aug. 18, 2014, 11:17 AM
- The battle between DirecTV (DTV) and Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.2%) on the West Coast has spilled over into football.
- DirecTV hasn't signed a deal to add Pac-12 football through Time Warner Cable's Sports Pass bundle for a reported price of $0.80 per subscriber.
- The satellite operator's subscribers will only have access to nationally broadcast Pac-12 football games.
- TWC and DirecTV are still in a stalemate over SportsNet LA which is the broadcaster of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball.
Aug. 15, 2014, 11:25 AM
- Cable and satellite providers ended Q2 with more broadband subscribers than video customers, according to Leichtman Research Group.
- An important distinction is that the pace of cord-cutting declined during the quarter as many customers simply shifted to packages such as U-verse or FiOS away from traditional cable.
- Analyst Craig Moffett notes the pay-TV industry is growing revenue at twice the clip as the wireless business which seems to defeat the suggestion of some that it's a dying entity.
- Related stocks: CHTR, CVC, TWC, DISH, DTV, VZ, T.
Aug. 13, 2014, 12:03 PM
- NBC Universal content will be made available on mobile devices via TV Everywhere for Time Warner Cable subscribers under the terms of a new deal between the companies.
- Programming from NBC Sports, USA Network, Syfy, CNBC, and MSNBC will be included as part of the arrangement.
- NBC Universal parent Comcast (CMCSA +0.7%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.8%) announced a merger agreement in February.
Aug. 12, 2014, 1:40 PM
- 98% of millennials without a pay-TV subscription tell nScreenMedia that they have no interest in getting one in the future.
- The result of the survey flies in the face of the contention by some cable execs that millennials will jump into pay-TV packages when their earnings power increases.
- Currently, 19% of millennials don't have a pay-TV subscription.
- Media analysts thinks the best play by pay-TV operators to reel cord-cutters and cord-nevers back in would be to jump to 4K movie services via smart TVs. Set-top boxes which could handle the 4K format could roll out as soon as 2015.
- Related stocks: DTV, DISH, CVC, CHTR, CMCSA, TWC.
- nScreenMedia White Paper (sub required)
Aug. 4, 2014, 1:41 PM
- A compelling breakdown of the Comcast (CMCSA +0.7%) - Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.9%) merger by TechDirt concludes the combination of the two firms poses an "extraordinary danger" to consumers in the Internet service market.
- Leaning on a tool of economists called the Herfindahl-Hischman Index, TechDirt notes that even before adding in the impact of adding TWC markets or splitting up territories between the brands - Comcast's broadband positions borders on anti-competitive. TWC adds another 13 bps of broadband market share, which under HHI is squared to add 169 points of damage.
- HHI reading on TWC-CMCSA = 1600 + (13 x 13) = 1769 to fall in the "moderately concentrated" range before even all the other deal leverage possibilities such as sports, phone, and cable TV are added in.
Jul. 31, 2014, 8:58 AM
- Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and AT&T (NYSE:T) kept a close eye on their acquisition prizes today as they both showed gains during Q2 for one of the most watched metrics in the pay-TV sector.
- Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) grew its average revenue per user by 1.7% to $106.98 and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) saw a 4.5% gain to $103.26 in the U.S.
- Merger synergies for the mega-deals are based on ever-rising ARPUs while scale brings down content and acquisition costs.
- Today's read from the pay-TV sector is that the U.S. consumer hasn't quite hit the breaking point yet on monthly bill charges.
- Regulatory watch: The FCC has started its merger review countdown clock by taking comments from consumer groups. Though Comcast maintains in government filings that acquiring TWC will help consumers, the focus on rising monthly pay-TV bills could take the steam out of that argument.
Jul. 31, 2014, 6:03 AM| Comment!
Jul. 29, 2014, 2:08 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC +1.4%) says it will agree to binding arbitration to settle its dispute with DirecTV (DTV +0.8%) over a carriage fee deal for the SportsNet LA network which includes coverage of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball.
- DirecTV hasn't indicated yet it will agree to enter arbitration as it continues to push for an a la carte option for its customers. Meanwhile, close to 70% of the Los Angeles TV/broadband market can't access Dodgers baseball.
- The TWC-DTV spat is being closely watched by the pay-TV industry (T, CHTR, CVC, DISH, VZ) and sports network owners (DIS, FOXA, TWX, CMCSA, CBS) as the issue of bundling regional sports networks into packages remains a hot topic.
Jul. 29, 2014, 11:44 AM
- Cable stocks seem to be getting a lift from the Windstream REIT announcement.
- The sector has been identified previously by analysts as ripe territory for REIT spinoffs.
- REIT-dreaming: Cablevision (CVC +4%), Charter Communications (CHTR +1.9%), Time Warner Cable (TWC +1.9%), and Comcast (CMCSA +1.4%).
Jul. 28, 2014, 1:15 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) CEO Rob Marcus told employees last week in an internal memo that a busy FCC may be slow in reviewing the company's plan to merge with Comcast (CMCSA).
- Despite the 40 meetings between management with TWC and Comcast aimed at getting a deal closed in the calendar year, the slow pace of the FCC could push the closing into 2015, says Marcus.
- What to watch: The recent wave of media merger activity could prompt regulators to proceed cautiously with the TWC-Comcast combination lined up as the first domino to fall. AT&T, DirectTV, 21st Century Fox, Disney, Charter, and a host of other companies will be anxiously awaiting the decision of regulators.
- Related: The media merger guessing game
Jul. 24, 2014, 5:31 PM
Jul. 11, 2014, 1:19 PM
- The 2014 World Cup has delivered smashing ratings reports for ESPN, Univision, and ABC - but has also exposed a weakness in the TV Everywhere platform for coverage of live events, reports GigaOm.
- The complicated process to transcode video feeds into a content delivery network can create a delay of up to 20 seconds - plenty of time for spoilers to crop up for viewers through their online feeds, mobile devices, or nearby friends.
- Though the delay isn't considered a big enough complication to derail TV Everywhere, it's another annoyance for viewers already frustrated with the authentication process.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC, CMCSA, DISCA, CBS, VZ.
Jul. 11, 2014, 10:14 AM
- The Department of Justice has asked CBS (CBS +0.2%), Disney (DIS -0.2%), and Discover Communications (DISCA +0.2%) to weigh in on the proposed merger between Comcast (CMCSA -0.2%) and Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%).
- Presumably, the media companies expressed concern over NBCUniversal receiving preferential treatment if the deal is approved.
- Netflix (NFLX +1%) and Dish Network (DISH +0.4%) are already on record as opposing the deal.
TWC vs. ETF Alternatives
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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