This ends up being less than The WSJ makes it out to be… at first. After paragraphs and paragraphs of speculation, the paper reports that Apple is asking for an arrangement Comcast has no doubt already laughed off, assuming the report has all the details.
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on Comcast’s $45 billion takeover attempt of Time Warner Cable. While it’s going to take some time to let the proverbial dust settle, and for the various regulatory bodies to make their decisions, here are a few more points to consider.
Malone is a tremendously astute executive, who knows full well that Wall Street loves a deal. Furthermore, TWC had been turning in some disappointing quarterly results, and Wall Streeters fervently despise disappointment. All that combined with the retirement of Glenn Britt, and TWC looked like a pretty good opportunity.
The FCC is encouraging experiments in moving from POTS to VoIP. As a practical matter, the FCC is talking to phone companies, but the results might have some ramifications for cable operators that got into the voice market with VoIP, as well as those cable operators who also operate POTS networks.
The likelihood that Comcast will participate in the takeover of Time Warner Cable seems to be increasing, with word leaking out that if Charter Communications were to buy TWC, Comcast would be interested in buying TWC’s New York City, North Carolina, and New England systems from Charter.
If there’s anybody who knows how to get screwed in a merger, it’s Time Warner Cable. TWC was a pawn in AOL’s acquisition of Time Warner, among the most disastrous mergers in history. Time Warner subsequently used TWC as a piggy bank it could bust open, emptying TWC of cash when it spun off the MSO.
Optical local area networking has some clear advantages. It is roughly comparable in price, and can last for 50 years or more. Fiber requires vastly less infrastructure to support, and significantly less maintenance. It is far more difficult to tap, and is impervious to EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) disruption.
Two bills were introduced to fix the video market, one from Rep. Steve Scalise, one from Rep. Anna Eshoo. You have to wonder if Scalise was even trying. Just look at that acronym: NGTMA. What are we supposed to do with that? Pronouncing it is a nightmare: N-n-ngitma? Ingateema? Nagtama?
The landscape for the sell-off of Time Warner Cable continues to shift with Cox Communications reportedly joining Comcast and Charter/Liberty Media as a potential suitor. Citing un-named sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that privately held Cox was considering whether it wanted to join in on the bidding for Time Warner Cable.
Late Friday, those agitating for consolidation in the cable industry floated the notion of Charter Communications and Comcast bidding on Time Warner Cable together, then breaking it up into pieces, with each claiming chunks. The news was well received by Wall Street merger-and-acquisition (M&A) experts and investors, who bid up the values of the stock of any MSO rumored to be party to any such deal.
After 41 years in the cable industry, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt took part in his last quarterly earnings conference call this morning. Britt spent about the first 20 minutes of the call with analysts speaking about the state of the cable industry in general while providing his own views and experiences.
There is no shortage of speculation about whether Comcast doing a deal with Netflix makes business sense – some say yes, some say no – but there are few evaluations of whether a Comcast-Netflix deal makes technological sense, which is key to why a Comcast-Netflix agreement is far more likely than not.
The margins on the low-cost, IP-based TV package might have been half what they were on Cox's comparable standard video package, but was that why the MSO pulled the plug on the service after only three months? Even after announcing FlareWatch was only an experiment?
That service providers will have to deliver TV everywhere is a foregone conclusion, but a couple of recent announcements – one from Sling and another from TiVo – provided an interesting juxtaposition of alternatives of how to accomplish the feat.
With today marking the one-week anniversary of CBS and Time Warner Cable ending their month-long stare down over retransmission fees, and with another dustup looming between Disney/ESPN and Dish Network, Time Warner Cable CEO and Chairman Glenn Britt has some advice for pundits covering programming fee dustups: Go read the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.