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News tagged: Charter


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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Tuesday Apr 22 2014
While Charter has left their options open to acquire Time Warner Cable in case Comcast's attempt to acquire the company falls through, the company's consolation prize continues to be the 3 million or so customers Comcast is willing to divest to try and make regulators approve the deal. Insiders say talks are ongoing between Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable to offload around 3 to 5 million of the impacted customers to Charter. Those sources claim (though the valuation seems absurdly high) the total assets being talked about are in the range of $20 billion or so. Another option still under discussion is Comcast and Time Warner Cable spinning off those users into a new company, with Charter taking a minority ownership stake.

16 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:51PM Friday Apr 11 2014
Less than a week after Charter CEO Tom Rutledge publicly admitted that their current TV service offerings simply weren't very good, Charter last November announced plans for a brand refresh for the company's broadband and TV services. Like AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, and Cablevision Optimum, Charter has announced they'll be re-branding the company's broadband and digital video services under the name "Spectrum" in the hopes of changing public perceptions.
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by Karl Bode 08:30AM Thursday Apr 10 2014
Charter's hopes to acquire Time Warner Cable were squashed when Comcast made a higher offer for the company, but falling Time Warner Cable stock price since the merger announcement has left the door open for a Charter counterbid. Executives are still considering such a play, anonymous sources tell Bloomberg, though the company is way of a bidding war that would result with them getting nothing at all. The company is apparently worried that they could annoy Comcast executives too much with an ongoing fight, resulting in them failing to even get the 3 million Time Warner Cable customers Comcast plans to divest as part of a merger condition.

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by Karl Bode 09:26AM Wednesday Mar 26 2014
Less than a week after Charter CEO Tom Rutledge publicly admitted that their current TV service offerings simply weren't very good, Charter last November announced plans for a brand refresh for the company's broadband and TV services. Like AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, and Cablevision Optimum, Charter has announced they'll be re-branding the company's broadband and digital video services under the name "Spectrum" in the hopes of changing public perceptions.
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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Friday Feb 14 2014
"People familiar with the company's thinking" (aka pretty much anybody) tell the Wall Street Journal that Charter is unlikely to make a counter offer to acquire Time Warner Cable. The company is unlikely to go above their existing $132 per share offer to match or exceed Comcast's $159 per share offer, a price point Charter had hoped to drive down by apparently insulting Time Warner Cable services. Instead, notes the Journal, Charter and John Malone will focus their efforts on other possible acquisition targets like Cox Communications, as well as take a chunk of the subscribers and networks Comcast will attempt to divest to make the deal more palatable to regulators.

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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Friday Feb 14 2014
A number of companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Google, and Microsoft are expected to announce a new coalition named WiFiForward that will push for expansion of access to unlicensed spectrum for wireless networks. The new coalition was supposed to be announced yesterday, though the announcement appears to have been delayed out of fears it wouldn't have been noticed under the din of the Comcast Time Warner Cable announcement.

Notably absent from the coalition is AT&T and Verizon, who use Wi-Fi for offloading, but would obviously prefer you pay them for accessing cellular networks:
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...after spending billions of dollars to upgrade to faster, so-called LTE technology, AT&T and its peers are now looking to bring that traffic back. "We are now at a place where the pricing is right, LTE is performing very, very well, and you want to drive utilization of these networks," AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said at an analysts conference in December.
The cable industry originally had cellular ambitions but after acquiring spectrum (now owned by Verizon) realized that competing with AT&T and Verizon on their turf would be very cash intensive. They've instead worked together to offer a broader array of publicly available hotspots in higher traffic areas, which are free if you subscribe to traditional cable services.

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by Karl Bode 02:25PM Tuesday Feb 11 2014
Charter shows no sign in backing off their desired acquisition of Time Warner Cable, this week making more aggressive moves as part of a hostile takeover bid. Charter originally made an offer of $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share.
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by Karl Bode 06:19PM Monday Feb 10 2014
Netflix today released their latest ISP streaming rankings, which, as the name suggests, track the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISPs network. The latest report shows that Verizon (both FiOS and DSL), AT&T U-Verse and Mediacom all slipped in the rankings, while Time Warner Cable, Bright House, Windstream, Centurylink and Clearwire all saw performance improvements.
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by Karl Bode 08:28AM Monday Feb 03 2014
Anonymous sources tell Reuters that Charter will likely present a new, higher bid to acquire Time Warner Cable sometime within the next two weeks. Charter originally made an offer of $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share.
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by Karl Bode 03:03PM Thursday Jan 30 2014
Last November we noted that Time Warner Cable, historically a bit sluggish when it comes to next-gen broadband upgrades, was considering a brand refresh named "Maxx" that would include significant speed and TV improvements. A blog post and press release by the company today shed a little more details on these improvements, which the company say will first be coming to the New York City and Los Angeles markets -- "transforming their service as they know it."

According to Time Warner Cable's Andrew Russell, the brand refresh may not actually be called "Maxx" when it launches; this appears to just be their current tag for the initiative.
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by Karl Bode 04:30PM Monday Jan 27 2014
Bloomberg is reporting that Charter and Comcast are very close to a preliminary deal wherein Charter would buy Time Warner Cable, then Comcast would buy strategically and geographically sensible markets in New York City, North Carolina and New England. The report notes that this would not be a joint bid, and Comcast wouldn't be involved until after Charter's offer is accepted.
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by Karl Bode 08:31AM Thursday Jan 16 2014
With Time Warner Cable rebuffing Charter's acquisition advances and insulting the company apparently not working, reports suggest that Charter has again turned to Comcast in the hopes of a joint acquisition bid. Reuters notes that Charter approached Comcast this week about acquiring then dividing up Time Warner Cable's networks and subscribers, with Comcast providing additional financial backing to help meet Time Warner Cable's preferred price point (above $160 per share).

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by Karl Bode 10:22AM Wednesday Jan 15 2014
Most folks who've been watching the last several years of serious net neutrality rule death throes weren't particularly surprised by this week's ruling (pdf). As Marvin Ammori at Slate astutely points out, former FCC boss Julius Genachowski's refusal to classify ISPs as common carriers set the stage for the agency's tenuous footing to begin with.
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by Karl Bode 08:40AM Wednesday Jan 15 2014
Netflix has released their latest rankings for average ISP streaming speeds, with Google Fiber, Cablevision, Cox, Suddenlink and Charter rounding out the top five. In a blog post Netflix notes that Bright House and Comcast tumbled five spots in the rankings while refusing to specifically state why (though Reddit users have their theories in regards to Comcast).
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by Karl Bode 08:02AM Wednesday Jan 15 2014
With Time Warner Cable executives so far refusing the company's acquisition advances, Charter Communications has decided to take the battle to investors and the media. In a rare display of borderline hostility for two companies that don't directly compete, Charter COO John Bickham took numerous pot shots at Time Warner Cable this week, criticizing the company's services while insisting Time Warner Cable embraces a "failed operating strategy" and has fallen into nickel and diming consumers:
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Bickham said that TWC has exhibited a "failed operating strategy revealed by fact that they are losing customers at an alarming rate," and said the trend isn't over just the past year, but rather the past decade...."It appears that Time Warner didn't want to spend the money to go all-digital," he said -- and blasted the company for offering slow Internet packages at deeply discounted prices.
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by Karl Bode 08:43AM Tuesday Jan 14 2014
After months of speculation about a possible deal, Charter Communications has made their first official offer to acquire Time Warner Cable. According to Reuters, Charter is offering about $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share, in a deal that when debt is included is valued at around $62.35 billion. The offer didn't sit very well with Time Warner Cable, who in a public letter stated that Charter's offer was "grossly inadequate" and a "non starter," the company making it clear they'e more interested in a deal somewhere above $160 per share. "We gave Charter our bottom line, but rather than pursuing this path, Charter has chosen to go public with its third low-ball offer trying to pressure TWC's Board into selling the Company at a grossly inadequate price," said Time Warner Cable in a statement.

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by Karl Bode 09:04AM Tuesday Dec 24 2013
As new Charter management attempted to right the ship last year, the company started offering just two usage tiers: 30 Mbps or 100 Mbps. Now according to user chatter in our forums, Charter appears to be bumping their 30 Mbps tier to 60 Mbps (technically from 30 Mbps down, 4 Mbps up to 60 Mbps down, 4 Mbps up). Users say the deployment doesn't appear to be available in all Charter areas yet, and users in upgraded areas may have to reboot their modem before they're able to see the faster speeds. Charter has yet to officially announce the changes, though I've reached out for confirmation and more details.

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by Karl Bode 09:17AM Monday Dec 16 2013
According to Bloomberg, Charter is planning to extend an acquisition offer letter to Time Warner Cable as early as this week, with the cable operator planning to offer around $135 per share. Excluding debt, that would value Time Warner Cable at around $38 billion. Reports had previously suggested that with Time Warner Cable wanted between $150 and $160 per share, though Charter is expected to argue that Time Warner Cable's recent subscriber losses (many due to their retransmission feud with CBS) Time Warner Cable shouldn't be too picky. Comcast is likely watching Time Warner Cable's response before offering up a possible proposal of their own.

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by Karl Bode 02:37PM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Charter chairman John Malone has been throwing chum in the shark-filled investment waters the last few months, leading to a frenzy of gossip over cable industry consolidation that has been very profitable for investors. But for his part, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge this week stated that while all the rumors make for a "rather frothy experience," Charter "doesn't need to do any acquisitions to be a successful company." "Time Warner [Cable] is relatively unique because it's not controlled by a family; and it's large; and they have a management transition going on," Liberty CEO Greg Maffei also stated, adding that "those factors have led to speculation about transactions."

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by Karl Bode 04:05PM Tuesday Nov 26 2013
Rumors of cable consolidation have been heated for much of the year, thanks largely to Charter board member John Malone and investors looking to cash in on the gossip-inflated stock gains. Said rumors exploded last week with a report claiming that both Comcast and Charter had contemplated a joint bid for Time Warner Cable.
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