Charter Takes on OTT Detractors

Originally appeared in CED Magazine
By: Laura Hamilton,
March 8, 2016

In recent weeks, opponents of the potential buy of Time Warner Cable have been mischaracterizing comments made by Charter CEO Tom Rutledge about OTT programming, according to the post. That’s “in an effort to seek unnecessary concessions as the merger review process enters its final stages. As we get closer to completing this transaction, our competitors and those we negotiate with are increasingly making demands in an attempt to benefit their own finances,” the blog states.

In recent weeks, opponents of the potential buy of Time Warner Cable have been mischaracterizing comments made by Charter CEO Tom Rutledge about OTT programming, according to the post. That’s “in an effort to seek unnecessary concessions as the merger review process enters its final stages. As we get closer to completing this transaction, our competitors and those we negotiate with are increasingly making demands in an attempt to benefit their own finances,” the blog states.

Read more here.

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Charter fends off HBO’s accusations that TWC merger will be bad for OTT

Originally appeared in Fiercecable
By: Daniel Frankel
March 8, 2016

 

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) took to the blogosphere and vigorously defended itself as a champion of OTT services following accusations made by HBO parent Time Warner Inc. that the MSO’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks would thwart online video competition.

“Charter wants programmers to offer their content OTT. We have invested millions of dollars building an infrastructure that enables and encourages our customers to watch video online or OTT,” Charter said in a company blog post.

The missive came after Time Warner Inc. and HBO lawyers met with FCC officials last week and expressed their concerns about the deal.

Read more here.

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Broadcast partnership celebrates fifteen years

Originally appeared in (MN) Bethany Lutheran College
March 8, 2016

Bethany Lutheran College and Minnesota State University, Mankato will celebrate 15 years of a unique broadcast partnership on Saturday, March 12, 2016, with a special reunion/recognition event prior to the Minnesota State men’s hockey WCHA playoff game at Verizon Wireless Center, located in downtown Mankato.

It was 2001 when an up-and-coming collegiate broadcast program teamed with an up-and-coming NCAA Division I men’s hockey program to form a unique partnership that has produced positive results for both. The partnership grew out of a meeting between Bethany’s Vice President for Finance and Administration Daniel Mundahl and Charter Communications’ Director of Field Operations Craig Stensaas.

The Maverick Hockey broadcast partnership has been a catalyst for dozens of Bethany graduates to secure jobs with well-known broadcast organizations.

Greg Vandermause, Bethany’s Production Studio Manager commented, “We are excited to celebrate 15 years of a great broadcasting partnership between Bethany, Minnesota State and Charter Communications. Throughout the years our students have landed jobs and internships at major networks and organizations such as ESPN, Fox Sports North, WWE, Good Morning America, NBA teams and so much more. Our program at Bethany has grown significantly through this partnership and we look forward to many years to come.”

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Charter CFO Winfrey: ‘Operating momentum is hard to get, but we have it’

Originally appeared in Fiercecable
By: Daniel Frankel
March 7, 2016

Calling the cable business “under-penetrated,” Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) CFO Christopher Winfrey continued to hammer home his company’s rationale for attempting to by Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media Internet & Telecom Conference, Winfrey said Charter has achieved “operational momentum” since the 2012 digital overhaul initiated under President and CEO Thomas Rutledge, accelerating margins on each user with more efficient customer service and technology.

Plying operational efficiencies such as the Spectrum Guide cloud-based video distribution system, and the World Box standardized set-top template, to the customer bases of TWC and Bright House Networks will allow Charter to expand its momentum, according to Winfrey.

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Charter Blogs Back at OTT Critics

Originally appeared in Multichannel News
By: John Eggerton
March 7, 2016

Says Its OTT-Friendliness Is Genuine and Makes Business Sens

Charter took to the blogosphere Monday to push back on the allegations it is OTT-unfriendly, saying it was a case of competitors trying to get unnecessary conditions on the deal to serve their own businesses interests.

As the FCC vets its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, deal opponents have been leveling that charge, and using Charter CEO Tom Rutledge and Liberty Media chairman John Malone’s past statements to try and make that the deal could ““harm the continued development of over-the-top video broadband competition.”

According to an ex parte filing on the meeting, representatives of Time Warner (no longer the parent of Time Warner Cable) and HBO met with FCC staffers March 2, the second such meeting over the OTT issue, to drive home that point as the FCC approaches its self-imposed 180-day deadline for completing its deal review.

The first meeting was held back in January.

In a blog post Monday (March 7), Charter said: “Our overriding principle is that consumers should be able to watch the content they want – wherever and whenever they want to watch it – including content offered OTT.”

Read more here.

Charter Wins Request That Could Speed California Deal Review

Originally appeared in Bloomberg
By Todd Shields
February 11, 2016

Charter Communications Inc. won its request for California to skip a hearing on the cable company’s bid for Time Warner Cable Inc., a step toward quicker judgment from a state set to lag behind a U.S. review of the $55.1 billion merger.

An administrative law judge with the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday granted Charter’s request to forgo a hearing Feb. 17-18, and he set a date for a final decision May 12 after receiving briefs in March. Previously the agency had foreseen a final decision on June 10.

The change “has no bearing on the outcome” and “merely makes it possible to shorten somewhat the schedule,” Terrie Prosper, director for news and public information at the agency, said in an e-mail before the ruling was released.

Charter has pushed for a quicker review from California. “We appreciate today’s ruling which should allow us to close the pending transaction more quickly,” Tamara Smith, a Washington-based spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

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Are you listening, Comcast? Charter says it could hire 20,000 for service-related jobs

Originally Appeared in Philly.com
By Bob Fernandez
February 4, 2016

Charter Communications Inc. CEO Tom Rutledge told analysts on Thursday that the cable company could hire 20,000 for new service-related jobs if it merges with Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks to slash the outsourcing of service calls to overseas centers and hire more in-house techs.

It seems like good customer service vows have broken out like a rash all over the cable industry.

Rutledge, a long-time cable executive, has boosted employment at Charter by about 43 percent over the last several years as he has transformed the former bankrupt cablecaster into a smooth operator that has proposed acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House. Federal regulators are expected to make a decision on the Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House deal within months.
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Charter Adds Video Subs in Q4, Year

Originally appeared in Multichannel News
By Mike Farrell
February 4, 2016

Charter Communications added 33,000 basic video subscribers in the fourth quarter and ended 2015 with 11,000 more video customers than it started with, the first time that has happened in more than a decade.

Charter has consistently improved its video subscriber performance in the past several quarters and the fourth quarter gain compares to a loss of 3,000 video customers in the prior year. With Charter’s results, the top three publicly traded cable operators all have posted video customer gains in the fourth quarter: Time Warner Cable added 54,000 and Comcast announced yesterday it gained 89,000 video customers. So far only Charter and TWC have reported video-subscriber gains for the full year.

 
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Moffett Ups Odds On Charter-TWC To 90%

Originally appeared in Broadcasting & Cable
By: John Eggerton
January 28, 2016

MoffettNathanson media analyst Craig Moffett has raised the odds on the Charter-Time Warner Cable deal getting done to 90%.

In a note to investors Thursday, Moffett said that even with the launch of the Stop Mega Cable Coalition last week, his takeaway was that most of its members were looking for conditions, not expecting to block the deal.

He conceded hurdles remained, including clearing a California PUC process—it held a public hearing on the deal this week—that had a tedious timeline, but he said for all that, he sees the stumbling blocks as getting smaller.

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Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger Debated In PUC Hearing

Originally appeared in Los Angeles Times
January 27, 2016
By: Meg James

Charter Communications’ massive merger — which would roll three cable companies into one — cleared a hurdle Tuesday night when California regulators held a marathon hearing to gather public comment.

Charter’s $67-billion plan to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks — two large California providers — attracted dozens of enthusiastic supporters and some vocal critics at the four-hour hearing in downtown Los Angeles.

No decision on the deal was reached. But dozens of community groups from Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, San Diego County, Long Beach and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys urged a PUC commissioner and an administrative law judge who is overseeing the matter to approve Charter’s take-over plans.

Charter has pledged to expand a program to provide affordable Internet service for some of Southern California’s poor residents — a key selling point of the deal, particularly among community group leaders who showed up in force on Tuesday.

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