Who Has Charter’s Back?

Originally appears in CableFAX
By Amy Maclean
October 23, 2015

We’ve told you about DISH, Public Knowledge, Entravision and others who don’t like the Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House deals and have filed petitions at the FCC to deny it. Then there are those like ACA, AT&T, UP and Aspire who have stopped short of opposing the merger, but have raised concerns. But who is standing up and supporting the deal?

RFD-TV, for one. The rural TV network is a nice backer to have considering that founder Patrick Gottsch told Congress during Comcast-Time Warner Cable hearings last year that the indie net lost almost 400K households after Comcast pulled its distribution in Colorado and New Mexico. Execs from RFD-TV are actually in DC this week discussing the positive relationship the programmer has had with Charter and its support of the pending transactions. It even took out a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Washington Post (see a glimpse of the ad above).

“This is a totally different situation compared to the previous takeover attempt as roles are reversed with the smaller rural cable company merging with the larger urban clustered entities,” Gottsch said in a statement.

Other companies that are giving the deals thumbs up include Arris and Herring Networks.

Click here to read the full article.

RFD-TV Lobbies for Media Merger

Originally appears in AgWired
By Brandon Ross
October 22, 2015

RFD-TV executives are lobbying government officials in Washington, D.C., to approve a merger that will see the network on more cable providers. In this news release, RFD-TV points out that Charter Communications, which has a pending merger with Time Warner and Brighthouse cable networks, has a proven track record of supporting rural, independent programming, and the rural network now enjoys full distribution in all Charter systems nationwide, both in standard and high definition.

Click here to read the full article.

Charter Lineup Joins Roku

Originally appeared on Broadcasting & Cable
By: John Eggerton & Jeff Baumgartner
October 12, 2015

Charter’s OTT-friendliness, which has been one of its major selling points in Washington for a proposed Time Warner Cable merger, just got friendlier.

Charter president Tom Rutledge said Monday (Oct. 12) that its customers would be able to use Roku devices to access TV content on any Roku-connected screen in the house using the Spectrum TV app, which means the device will offer cable channels alongside streamed over-the-top (OTT) online content on those sets.

“We congratulate Charter on embracing consumers’ desire to stream the video they want,” said Andrew Ferrone, VP of pay TV at Roku, in announcing the agreement to make the Spectrum TV app a channel on the Roku platform.

The announcement also dovetails with cable operator arguments to the FCC that the marketplace is wedding traditional and new online video content.

“We will continue to add greater functionality to the channel on Roku devices, including On Demand, and plan to make Spectrum TV available on additional consumer electronic set-top boxes and screens,” said Rutledge in a statement.

Charter said Spectrum TV will be available on Roku streaming players, its Streaming Stick and Roku TVs. The Spectrum TV app is also available on iOS and Android devices.

According to Parks Associates figures, Roku was the clear leader in streaming devices in 2014 with 29% of U.S. sales.

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Time Warner Cable to add more than 30 jobs in Cleveland

Originally appears in WKYC.com
By Staff
October 9, 2015

The company is looking to fill full-time customer service positions in its Cleveland office.

CLEVELAND — Time Warner Cable will increase its customer service workforce by more than 30 jobs in the next month.

The company is looking to fill full-time customer service positions in its Cleveland office. It will hold a job fair on Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at 15305 NEO Parkway in Garfield Heights.

Candidates attending the job fair will have the opportunity to meet with customer care leaders to assess the company, learn about hours, pay and training.

“Time Warner Cable’s decision to expand new job opportunities in the area is a win win for our community,” State Rep. Janine Boyd said. “This announcement means a boost to our economy, new products and services for consumers to explore and most importantly, jobs and career opportunities for residents.”

Time Warner Cable issued a statement with a job description as follows:

“Customer service representatives assist residential customers with all aspects of cable services including billing, repair, technical support, troubleshooting, sales and other inquires in a high-volume, fast-paced call center. Exceptional customer service is required. Qualified applicants need a minimum of six months in customer service; proven sales, effective computer and good communication skills.”
Applicants must apply online here.

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Time Warner Cable Opens State-of-the-Art Learning Lab to Benefit New Yorkers and Homeless Veterans Served by Easter Seals New York

Originally appears in TimeWarnerCable.com
By Staff
October 8, 2015

Easter Seals New York Becomes Home to the 18th Time Warner Cable Learning Lab to Provide New Yorkers with Access to State-Of-The-Art Computer and Technology Centers

NEW YORK CITY, (October 8, 2015) – As part of its ongoing initiative to provide New Yorkers with access to state-of-the-art computer and technology centers, Time Warner Cable today opened its newest Learning Lab at Easter Seals New York, located at 42 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. A $50,000 grant from Time Warner Cable funded Easter Seals New York with new desktop computers, laptops, smart boards and iPads. Time Warner Cable Business Class enhanced the donation by powering the lab with complimentary high-speed Internet service.

“Time Warner Cable is proud to partner with Easter Seals New York and support its mission of helping New Yorkers, especially veterans of our country’s armed forces,” said Gregg Cory, Time Warner Cable’s area vice president of operations for Southern Manhattan. “Through Learning Labs like this one, Time Warner Cable is providing state-of-the-art technologies to help bridge the digital divide for New Yorkers in today’s rapidly changing world.”

“Easter Seals New York is very grateful to Time Warner Cable for providing a Learning Lab in the Vocational Service office,” said Rita Stella, Senior Director of Vocational Services for Easter Seals New York. “These additional resources will empower the mature workers and military veterans Easter Seals serves to gain competitive technological skills that will lead to success in the workplace and increased, sustainable self-sufficiency.”

“Access to computers and other technology is increasingly critical,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Increased access at Easter Seals is great news for the communities they serve. Thank you to Time Warner Cable for the Learning Labs initiative.”

Easter Seals New York was founded in 1922 as one of the first organizations to aid people with disabilities by providing programs and services to children and adults with disabilities and other special needs as well as their families. For the last 80 years, Easter Seals has been producing programs that enable those with special needs to achieve equality, dignity, and independence in their own communities. Because the program participants are low-income, often homeless individuals, they do not have personal access to a computer or broadband services on a regular basis. Many participants do not have experience using a personal computer or a tablet, let alone the programs and software available to assist them with resume writing and job searching.

Time Warner Cable committed in 2011 to open 40 Learning Labs in New York City by 2020 — providing low income communities with access to computers and high-speed Internet. Time Warner Cable’s total investment to equip these 40 facilities is anticipated to exceed $2 million, plus additional in-kind funding from Time Warner Cable Business Class for complimentary Internet and video services. Non-profit partners, such as Easter Seals New York, oversee the labs’ daily operations and utilize their technologies for the people they serve.

Time Warner Cable has now opened 18 Learning Labs in neighborhoods throughout New York City. In Manhattan, labs previously opened are located at the LGBT Center on 13th Street, YWCA on W. 56th Street, Chinese-American Planning Council in Chinatown, in Harlem at the Police Athletic League Center, the James Weldon Johnson Community Center, the Ali Forney Center and Penn South Social Services. In Brooklyn, labs are located at the Red Hook Initiative, Good Shepard Services in Park Slope, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and HeartShare Human Services in Bay Ridge. In Queens, labs are located at Woodside on the Move, Sunnyside Community Services and Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, and Korean Community Services, Inc. Staten Island is presently home to a lab at the Gerard Carter Community Center in Stapleton.

Time Warner Cable’s New York City service area includes Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, western Brooklyn, and Mt. Vernon, NY, as well as Bergen and Hudson counties in New Jersey.

About Easter Seals New York

Easter Seals New York was founded in 1922 as one of the first organizations to aid people with disabilities by providing programs and services to children and adults with disabilities and other special needs as well as their families. For the last 80 years, Easter Seals has been producing programs that enable those with special needs to achieve equality, dignity, and independence in their own communities.

About Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States, connecting 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers data, video and voice services to businesses of all sizes, cell tower backhaul services to wireless carriers and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising sales arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.twc.com, www.twcbc.com and www.twcmedia.com.

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Charter Communications adding jobs in Rochester

Originally appears in KIMT
By DeeDee Stiepan
October 6, 2015

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Charter Communication’s Rochester office will be hosting job fairs to help fill about 70 customer service positions at the local call center.

The company says they plan to grow and invest in the Med City location. Anyone who is interested can swing by the office off of Bandel Rd. NW on Tuesdays from 11am to 7pm.

“You’ll take a test that will test your ability to handle customer calls, as well as go through some other types of simulations and then have a in person interview with one of our supervisors,” says Vice President of Customer Care Operations, Mark Akason.

Charter is holding the job fair to coordinate with National Customer Service Week. Throughout the week, they are holding special events in celebration of those employees who work with customers on a daily basis.

“We want to recognize them and say thank you because what they do is hard. Talking to customers everyday helping them with their product, helping them with their issues, it can be hard but also very fulfilling,” adds Akason.

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RFD-TV: Charter Will Expand Distribution

Originally appears in Broadcasting & Cable
By: John Eggerton
September 29, 2015

Adds channel to entire footprint, including major urban markets

According to RFD-TV, Charter TV has struck a deal to expand carriage of the rural-targeted program network in the remainder of the company’s footprint where RFD-TV is not carried, which includes such major urban markets as Los Angeles, Atlanta, St. Louis and Sacramento.

The rollout kicks in next month.

“We’ve crossed into some uncharted territory as a network, and this incremental growth with Charter enables millions more potential viewers to come along with us,” said RFD-TV owner Rural Media Group President Patrick Gottsch. “I am extremely grateful to the executive team at Charter. They took the time to hear us out and agreed that our service added value to their entire footprint Charter is currently trying to get its merger with Time Warner Cable improved by regulators, so expanding its carriage deal with a rural-targeted independent programmer couldn’t hurt. And could actually help.

AT&T struck a deal with RFD-TV while it was trying to get its DirecTV deal approved, and after RFD-TV and its fans pushed the FCC to make carriage of the channel a condition of the merger. (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/att-carry-rfd-tv/133758).

RFD channel got some high-profile attention in Hill hearings on the AT&T/DirecTV and Comcast/Time Warner Cable deals from legislators concerned about large media companies’ carriage of rural-themed programming. (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/att-carry-rfd-tv/133758).

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FCC starts 180-day countdown to review Charter-Time Warner Cable merger

Originally appears in Reuters
By: Alina Selyukh, Lisa Lambert
September 11, 2015

U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday started a non-binding 180-day countdown to review the proposed $56 billion merger of cable rivals Charter Communications Inc (CHTR.O) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC.N)

The FCC said it will collect the first wave of public comments by October 13. The agency also adopted a new legal framework to protect sensitive information submitted as part of the merger review, while allowing some third-party representatives to access and comment on it.

The FCC’s so-called 180-day “shot clock” is used as guidance, though is often surpassed. The companies have said they aimed to close the deal by the end of the year.

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Capital Region to host first of five hearings on cable merger

Originally appeared in Times Union
By: Larry Rulison
September 7, 2015

Sessions to focus on Charter’s proposal to acquire Time Warner

The Capital Region will host the first of five public hearings on Charter Communications’ proposed $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

The state Public Service Commission has scheduled the hearing for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Bethlehem Town Hall. A session that will outline details will be held at 6 p.m.

The PSC will be hosting four additional hearings later this month in New York and Buffalo.

This is the second time in two years that local Time Warner customers have been faced with having an out-of-state company attempt to take over TV, phone and Internet service.

Back in 2014, Comcast of Philadelphia sought to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal that deal fizzled early this year over concerns that Comcast would control too much of the nation’s Internet traffic.
The Charter deal, which emerged in May after the Comcast deal imploded, is not expected to face as much opposition from regulators because Charter, which is known for its relatively cheap Internet rates and consumer-friendly policies, is much smaller than Comcast and does not pose the same anti-trust threats that Comcast did.

Still, consumer advocates have been arguing that mergers of large cable TV and phone companies stifle competition for high-speed Internet access, which has become a critical component of the economy. They have been asking for stricter regulation of the Internet, making it more like a critical public utility than a luxury entertainment service such as cable TV.
Fairfield, Conn.-based Charter will have 19 million Internet and 17 million TV customers in 41 states if the deal is approved.

The PSC’s current four-member board must approve the New York portion of the deal for it to move forward. Other states, including California, as well as the Federal Communications Commission, must also approve the merger.

The PSC must find public “benefits” from the merger. Charter has said that it plans to increase the speed of Internet service in New York and other states, while lowering prices and expanding service to under-served areas of the state.

The commission is expected to vote on the deal by December at the earliest. Charter would like to close the deal by the end of the year.

Two additional public hearings are scheduled for 3 and 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Manhattan Community College and another two hearings will be held at 3 and 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Amherst Municipal Building in Williamsville, outside Buffalo.

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Originally appeared in Associated Press
By: Tali Arbel
July 15, 2015

Netflix, a vocal opponent of Comcast’s failed bid for Time Warner Cable, supports Charter’s quest to do the same in a deal that would create another cable giant.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday, the online video company said it supports the deal because Charter says it won’t charge companies to connect to its network and reach its customers.

Charter’s policy, spread across the 19.4 million Internet customers that the larger company would serve, would be a “substantial public interest benefit” and would help get online services to consumers and promote innovation, Netflix said.

Charter’s policy and Netflix’s support of it could help sway regulators to approve the Charter deal after the Comcast-Time Warner Cable transaction fell apart in April under pressure from regulators.

Charter Communications Inc. wants to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House for $67.1 billion to become the country’s No. 3 traditional TV provider and the second-largest home Internet supplier after Comcast.

“It’s certainly a positive for closing the deal, absolutely,” said BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, and “a nice win for Netflix.” But he there are still roadblocks to regulatory approval for Charter because the government is concerned about the lack of competition in the broadband market.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Communications Commission declined to comment because the transaction was under review.

After the Comcast deal collapsed because regulators worried that it could impede online video competitors and would have too much power over the nation’s high-speed Internet access, Charter is trying to position itself as a good Internet actor.

It proposed Wednesday that it will continue to let companies connect to its network without paying until the end of 2018. Why does this matter? Netflix Inc. fought with Comcast and other big Internet providers over these commercial arrangements and in 2014 ended up paying Comcast to connect directly to its network after congestion issues hurt video quality for Netflix customers.

The FCC has been concerned about these deals, and it has the power to hear disputes between Internet providers and companies according to its net neutrality rules that went into effect in June.

In another bid to endear itself to government regulators, Charter has said that it will submit disputes over these commercial Internet deals to the agency. It has also promised to roll out faster Internet with no data caps for Time Warner Cable and Bright House customers and said it will abide by the government’s new “net neutrality” rules against blocking and slowing down Internet traffic and creating special paid fast lanes.

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