Last updated: May 1, 2014 - 8:18am
Consolidation will help make the industry as a whole more competitive and will give cable operators a leg up on new technologies, according to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge at the Cable Show 2014 General Session.
Comcast agreed on Feb. 13 to acquire Time Warner Cable, in a deal worth about $69 billion that will boost the combined company’s reach to just under 30% of the television households across the country. Now, Comcast agreed to divest about 4 million customers to Charter in a trio of deals worth about $20 billion. The deals, which include the outright sale of 1.4 million TWC subscribers to Charter, a swap between Comcast and Charter involving systems with 1.6 million customers and the spin-off of an additional 2.5 million customers into a separate publicly traded company managed by and 33% owned by Charter, will effectively double the Connecticut-based company’s owned and managed systems to about 8.2 million customers. In a briefly tense moment at the session when moderator, CNBC on-air editor John Fortt, reminded Rutledge of his past criticism of the deal and asked why the Charter CEO believes it is a good one now. Rutledge quickly wiped an annoyed look off his face, telling the moderator that this deal is different.
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