Who Wins in the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

by Brett Sappington | Feb. 13, 2014

As in any major event in the communications industry, there are always winners and losers. Here are a few thoughts on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and how some of the parties involved view the outcome.

  • Comcast (the cable-side of the business): While the deal will have to be approved by regulators and some markets will be sold off to competitors to allow the deal to go through, Comcast clearly enjoys many benefits from the deal. With the combined company serving approximately one-third of U.S. cable subscribers, Comcast will have an even stronger position in content rights and other vendor negotiations than it had previously possessed. Costs for the X1, X5, and other innovations can be spread out over a larger base of customers. Comcast also has a greater potential market for new services; new offerings that capture 1-2% of the future Comcast customer base will represent more customers than the entire subscriber base of other cable operators. Comcast will also get a bump in business service capabilities with the addition of NaviSite, which was acquired by Time Warner Cable in 2011.
  • Time Warner Cable customers: Overall, TWC subscribers should be happy with the change, though some potential negatives have yet to be worked out. These subscribers will now get access to many of the Xfinity goodies that Comcast has been rolling out over the past several months, including the X1 and Xfinity Streampix (Comcast’s answer to Netflix). However, while Comcast customers live in a world of broadband caps, TWC subscribers have unlimited broadband plans. No word yet on how that will be managed.
  • NBC Universal: As outlined by Glenn Hower in his blog, NBC Universal appears to be a big potential winner. The larger Comcast customer base and a willing partner in cable operator parent Comcast puts NBC Universal in a unique position in direct-to-consumer connections, innovation, and in launching new channels.
  • Charter Communications: Oh, Mr. Rutledge, what might have been. A combined Charter-TWC would have bumped Charter into third place in the U.S. pay-TV subscriber race, just ahead of DISH Network. While the combined company would still have been smaller than Comcast, the additional scale would have been a great benefit for the Connecticut-based operator.


Next: The Impact of OTT Video on Traditional Video Services
Previous: Comcast Makes Big Bid for Broad Reach

Comments

    Be the first to leave a comment.

Post a Comment

Have a comment? Login or create an account to start a discussion.


Quote-PA_website_Tom_2.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_2.png

Quote-PA_website_Elizabeth.png

Quote-PA_website_Elizabeth.png

Quote-PA_website_Brad.png

Quote-PA_website_Brad.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_1.png

Quote-PA_website_Tom_1.png

Quote-PA_website_Dina.png

Quote-PA_website_Dina.png