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.

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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.”

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

Originally Appeared in
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-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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Charter To Offer $15 Broadband For Low-Income Households

Originally Appeared in Fierce Cable 
December 18, 2015


As it seeks regulatory approval to acquire Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications announced details on Thursday of plans for a low-cost broadband service priced at $14.99 monthly for eligible low-income households, including seniors.

Charter (Nasdaq: CHTR) is based in Stamford and offers cable service in the Fairfield County towns of Trumbull, Monroe, Newtown, Brookfield, New Fairfield and Sherman, as well as parts of Litchfield County and in Eastern Connecticut. If approved, Charter’s takeovers of New York City-based Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Syracuse, N.Y.-based Bright House Networks would make the combined company the second largest cable TV carrier in the nation after Philadelphia-based Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA).

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Charter Announces Details of Industry Leading Low-Cost Broadband Service

Originally Appeared in PRNewswire
December 18, 2015

Charter Communications today announced the details of a new low-cost broadband service that the company will begin offering to low-income customers within six months of the close of its pending merger with Time Warner Cable and acquisition of Bright House Networks.  The new service will deliver the highest speeds of any comparable offering and be the first to offer fast broadband to low-income seniors in addition to low-income families, providing substantial benefits to these underserved populations and setting a new standard for low-cost broadband.

The service will deliver 30/4 Mbps speeds for $14.99 per month, making it the only low-cost internet service for low-income populations that meets – and even exceeds – the FCC’s definition of high-speed broadband. The fastest speed currently offered by comparable programs today is only 10 Mbps.  Charter’s industry leading broadband offering will provide substantial benefits for underserved low-income families and senior citizens.

“Recognizing the central role broadband plays in our daily lives and the economic challenges faced by many Americans today, we look forward to launching this offering that will provide more consumers a superior broadband service,” said Tom Rutledge, president and CEO of Charter Communications.

“Our industry-leading low-cost broadband service is just one of the many benefits these transactions will bring to our customers,” Rutledge continued.  “We look forward to providing this superior broadband service to underserved families and seniors throughout Charter’s footprint.”

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Charter’s Rutledge: ‘We’ll hire our own technicians to do the work’ of TWC technical integration


Originally appeared in FierceInstaller
By Daniel Frankel
November 17, 2015

As his cable system prepares to absorb more than 13 million video subscribers from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks, in millions more high-speed Internet users, Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) President and CEO Tom Rutledge recently laid out some of the details of how the technology integration will work.

Speaking at an “investor day” event last week for Liberty Media, Charter’s biggest shareholder, Rutledge said Charter will continue to rely on its cloud-based strategy that relies on two-way communications with older set-tops. This will differ radically from services like TWC Maxx, which call for the installation of advanced Arris-made DVR set-tops into customer homes.

“Historically, the chips and processing power and storage of older set-tops was the lowest common denominator in which you could roll out new products across your footprint,” Rutledge said.

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Business of the Year Finalist: Bright House Networks

Originally appeared in Florida Today
By: Ilana Kowarski
November 10, 2015 

Brevard County employees of the Bright House Networks cable and media company have volunteered more than 600 hours in the community this year.

“Bright House Networks, its leadership and employees are some of Brevard’s most active corporate citizens,” said Rob Rains, president of United Way of Brevard. “Whether it’s raising money for United Way or making resources available to some of our most vulnerable youth in afterschool programs like Boys & Girls Clubs, this business is always willing to step up to the plate.”

The company offers a “Community Service Day Program,” which allows full-time employees to get paid for a workday of volunteering and part-time employees to get paid for a half-day of volunteering, and it supports local nonprofits by providing free public service announcements.

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