With their $45 billion merger making the regulatory rounds, the last thing Comcast and Time Warner Cable needed was a very public black eye in American Customer Satisfaction Index survey (ACSI), which was released yesterday. To recap, Time Warner Cable finished dead last in customer satisfaction for both its video and data services while Comcast was second to last in the same catagories in the survey.
Given all of the Wi-Fi related news over the past few months, an interesting press release came over the transom this morning. Benu Networks announced today that a “major North American MSO” had deployed its technology for community Wi-Fi deployments. Benu added more mystery to release by saying that it was in lab trials with two more North American service providers.
Network neutrality advocates insist the Internet has already been destroyed by the opening of so-called fast lanes. Meanwhile the industry is behaving as if FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s willingness to consider reclassifying broadband as a Title II service is a done deal.
Over the past few years, CableLabs has been cooking up information models for the cable operator industry that are designed to provide commonality across the various technologies and systems. CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said the data information architecture seeks to integrate the different networks and systems into a common platform that will improve the rate of innovation and provide a seamless experience.
AT&T is on the verge of buying DirecTV, according to reports. The deal could be worth $50 billion, but no one thinks this is about synergy, or subscribers, or scale. Most think it's about AT&T's dividend. Whoo. Hoo. AT&T can buy DirecTV, but it won’t be able to buy an exclamation point.
Verizon's FiOS TV penetration strategy seems to be running out of steam at the 35 percent mark, but subscriber adds were down in Q1 mostly because people don't want installers in their homes when it's snowing. Meanwhile, FiOS broadband is growing okay. The FiOS footprint is what it is, but what about Verizon over the top?
The Tablo is a nifty little item that lets you play over-the-air signals on your tablet. You can watch live, or record in advance and watch later. You can choose to record specific episodes, new episodes of a series, or an entire series. You can take your device anywhere, connect to the Internet, and you have access to your Tablo, including everything you’ve got stored on your disk drive.
Ultra high definition TV. Workflow management. End-to-end multi-screen (or “over the top”) delivery. For anyone even remotely involved in content preparation and distribution, those were the three big themes at the NAB Show that concludes today. And there’s a glut of vendors aiming to provide each of those technologies.
The fact that OTA broadcast stations are also carried on cable systems is thoroughly and absolutely irrelevant to Aereo – Cablevision is absolutely irrelevant to Aereo, and even if five Supreme Court Justices disagree I still won’t buy the argument.
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.