Cable merger may affect local customers

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By Joy Campbell

The Messenger-Inquirer

Kentucky’s Time Warner Cable customers likely will become part of Charter Communications if or when the merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast is completed.

Comcast is planning to divest certain subscribers to Charter Communications, and Kentucky will be part of that, a TWC spokesperson confirmed Monday.

The $45.2 billion deal is still going through the review process to gain local, state and federal regulatory approvals, said Michael Pedelty, Time Warner Cable spokesperson.

“It’s too early to share any specifics of how it will impact customers,” Pedelty said. “We will communicate details as soon as we know something.”

The company does not share market-specific numbers, but TWC has 694,000 customers in Kentucky, he said.

Comcast and TWC still hope to get the deal done by the end of the year, he said.

Charter is the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, according to its website, www.charter.com.

Stamford, Connecticut-based company serves more than 5.7 million customers in 29 states.
The company, through Advanced Charter TV, offers hundreds of HD channels, DVR service and a choice of more than 10,000 video-on-demand movies and shows 24/7, according to the website.

“Customers can take video throughout the house — and even outside the home — with on-the-go content on laptops and mobile devices,” the site states.

Charter also provides Internet service and is the ninth-largest provider of U.S. residential phone service.
Comcast announced in February that it would divest certain subscribers “to reduce competitive concerns,” but the company did not share specifics of which customers would be sold off.

Comcast and TWC are the two largest U.S. cable companies. This merger would give Comcast 30 percent of the U.S. cable markets and 35.5 percent of the fixed high speed Internet markets.

In the February announcement, Comcast said the merger agreement with Time Warner Cable is a “friendly stock-for-stock transaction.”
This deal was the first of several major media mergers announced in recent months including the $80 billion offer that 21st Century Fox made to buy Time Warner. AT&T has made a $48.5 billion offer to buy DirectTV.