Jul. 2, 2014, 12:49 PM
- Pay-TV operators (DISH, DTV, CHTR, CVC, TWC) will have to spend about $18.32 a month per subscriber within wo years to gain broad rights to sports content, according to estimates from SNL Kagan. That figure makes it difficult for the group to offer smaller bundles to bring back cord-cutters and lure cord-nevers.
- The major sports broadcasters (DIS, TWX, FOXA, CMCSA, CBS) only earned about $1.17 a month in 1995, despite lacking any competition from streaming or online services.
- Though the AT&T-DirecTV and Comcast-Time Warner Cable mergers could add leverage to the pay-TV side, new sports channels Fox Sport 1 and NBC Sports Network aim to achieve the must-have clout and high carriage fees earned by ESPN.
- Passing on costs might not be an option: Average revenue per user at pay-TV operators has hit a tipping point with consumers, with most analysts seeing the push-back continuing.
- "Something has to give," sums up media analyst Craig Moffett.
Jun. 16, 2014, 10:33 AM
- Charter Communications (CHTR -0.2%) and Comcast (CMCSA -0.3%) name Matthew Siegel as the new CFO of the company being spun off as a result of the merger between the cable giants.
- The new company will launch with 2.5M former Comcast customers.
- Siegel is currently the treasurer at Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.2%).
Jun. 9, 2014, 11:20 AM
- Netflix (NFLX -0.7%) is out with its ISP Speed Index for May and takes a swipe at "some" large ISP providers (VZ, TWC, CHTR, CVC) along the way.
- ISP Speed Index (Mbps): Cablevision-Optimum 3.03, Cox 2.94, Charter 2.87, Suddenlink 2.83, Comcast 2.72, Time Warner Cable 2.45, Bright House 2.23, Windstream 1.90, Verizon FIOS 1.90.
- The company says some ISPs are harming consumers by double-dipping to get fees from subscribers and content providers for the same access.
- In an interesting twist, Netflix says it will continue testing using an error message when a broadband provider has persistent network congestion. A broad roll-out of the policy is being considered.
- Previous: Netflix vs. Verizon over error message
Jun. 5, 2014, 12:39 PM
- Progress between Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.6%) and DirecTV (DTV -0.1%) over a distribution deal for SportsNet LA has stalled, according to the L.A. Times.
- A deal with DirecTV is considered key because it's the only provider that competes directly with Cox, Verizon, Charter, and Dish Network. If DirecTV doesn't carry SportsNet the other Pay-TV providers can afford to wait on their own deals.
- What to watch: DirecTV claims it hasn't lost a significant number of subscribers even with the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team 61 games into their season. Analysts think a spirited San Francisco Giants-L.A. Dodgers pennant race could increase pressure on DirecTV.
- Previous: Not even Vin Scully can catch a Dodgers game in L.A.
Jun. 5, 2014, 11:09 AM| 5 Comments
May. 29, 2014, 4:15 AM
- Sprint (S) Chairman Masayoshi Son reasons that the rise in telecom and cable mergers should allow his company to buy rival T-Mobile (TMUS). Three big mergers have taken place in recent months with Verizon (VZ) acquiring Vodafone (VOD) for $130B, Comcast (CMCSA) buying Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $45B, and the AT&T (T) purchase of DirecTV (DTV) for $49B.
- "Access to the Internet is currently dominated by three giants with no sizable competitor," says Son.
- Although the company has not yet made a formal bid on T-Mobile, it looks to lay the framework for a future purchase.
- Antitrust authorities have previously frowned on such a deal, as it would cut the number of national competitors in the wireless industry to three from four.
May. 19, 2014, 9:11 AM
- A report from the FCC indicates basic cable TV prices have risen at a rate 4X the rate of inflation over the last 18 years.
- In the last year alone, the average cost of basic service rose 4.6% to $63.03.
- What to watch: The FCC report, which is full of details on the impact of pricing in "non-competitive" markets, is likely to be referred to during discussion in Washington DC on the Time Warner Cable (TWC)- Comcast (CMCSA) merger.
- Related stocks: CVC, CHTR
- Full FCC report (.pdf)
May. 15, 2014, 3:35 PM
May. 15, 2014, 4:43 AM
- The Federal Communications Commission is due to vote today on a proposal to formally allow some "commercially reasonable" deals that would enable Internet content companies to pay fees so that their traffic receives priority on the network.
- Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) are among those opposed to "pay-for-priority," while Netflix (NFLX) is strongly in favor of net neutrality as well. The latter has reluctantly forged "direct-peering" agreements that remove bottlenecks between networks and ensure that its contents streams more smoothly.
- Advocates of net neutrality fear that pay-for-priority will lead to "fast lanes" for corporations that can afford it and slower traffic for others, and some even want Internet providers to be reclassified as utilities, as is the case with telephone operations.
- Meanwhile, the FCC is also scheduled to decide on rules for the sale of low-frequency airwaves to wireless carriers, with the regulations expected to limit how much Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) can purchase.
- Other relevant tickers: CMCSA, TWC, ALLT, LVLT, CCOI, FTR, WIN, CTL, CHTR, CVC, DISH.
Apr. 30, 2014, 1:37 PM| Comment!
Apr. 28, 2014, 6:57 AM
- Charter (CHTR) will acquire 1.4M existing Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers, giving it 5.7M in total and making it the second-largest cable operator in the U.S.
- Charter and Comcast (CMCSA) will also each transfer approximately 1.6M subs respectively.
- Charter will acquire 33% in a new publicly-traded cable provider that Comcast will spin off to its shareholders and that will serve 2.5M customers. Charter will pay for the stake by issuing new stock to Comcast shareholders.
- After all the deals are finalized, Charter's managed residential subscribers will be below 30% of the U.S.'s total MVPD (multichannel video programming) subscribers.
- The value of the Comcast-Charter transactions wasn't provided, but the FT put a figure of $20B when it published a mostly accurate report about them over the weekend, prior to an official announcement today. (PR)
Apr. 28, 2014, 6:10 AM
Apr. 27, 2014, 1:39 AM
- Comcast (CMCSA) could this week announce a $20B three-part deal to divest subscribers as part of its attempt to assuage antitrust concerns about its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable (TWC), the FT reports.
- Comcast would sell 1.4M subscribers from TWC's network to Charter (CHTR), while Comcast would also place 2.5M subscribers in a new company in which Charter would own 35%. Comcast and Charter would then swap 1.65M customers.
- The transactions are contingent on Comcast receiving approval for its takeover of TWC.
Apr. 24, 2014, 12:20 PM
- Time Warner Cable (TWC +0.2%) narrowed video customer losses to 34K in Q1 while adding 269K new broadband subscribers.
- At the end of the quarter, the company had 11.2M video customers and 11.4M broadband Internet customers in its fold.
- Average monthly programming costs per video subscriber rose 10.2% to $37.69, but overall the company kept a lid on cost increases.
Apr. 24, 2014, 6:03 AM| Comment!
Apr. 21, 2014, 6:37 AM
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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