Comcast could buy Time Warner N.Y. cable franchises

A Charter Communications technician checks a cable line. Charter has reportedly offered $132.50 a share for Time Warner Cable.
A Charter Communications technician checks a cable line. Charter has reportedly offered $132.50 a share for Time Warner Cable. (STEPHANIE S. CORDLE / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Posted: January 29, 2014

Comcast Corp. could acquire Time Warner Cable Co.'s New York cable-TV properties, along with other franchises on the East Coast, in a deal with Charter Communications Inc., according to sources in the industry.

A deal would expand Comcast's market power along the I-95 corridor between Boston and Washington.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable-TV company, already offers cable and Internet in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.

Charter declined to comment Monday. Comcast also had no comment.

Charter has offered $132.50 a share for Time Warner Cable's equity, but Time Warner Cable has rebuffed the offer as inadequate, seeking $160 a share.

Analysts believe Charter has to bring Comcast into a deal to sweeten its bid because of the billions of dollars it would have to borrow for Time Warner Cable, which is substantially larger.

As a deal has been described, Charter would purchase Time Warner Cable, then resell some of its properties to Comcast.

Industry observers believe Charter could propose a slate of directors to be nominated to Time Warner Cable's board to gain control of the company.

Cable pioneer John Malone owns about 27 percent of Charter. He has said that cable companies have to consolidate to gain leverage with content providers that sell their cable channels to pay-TV distributors.


bfernandez@phillynews.com

215-854-5897

@bobfernandez1

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