TCI swaps systems

ANAHEIM — Tele-Communications Inc. used the Western Cable Show here to report that it has consolidated its subscriber base in Los Angeles and Chicago through some major cable-system swaps with other cable operators.

“We’re now completing a yearlong voyage to market concentration in some key areas of the country,” said Leo Hindery Jr., president and CEO of TCI, at a news conference Wednesday.

In the first deal announced here, TCI and Century Communications have set up a partnership that will combine their systems in Southern California that reach a total of about 645,000 subscribers. Century, which will own 75% of the venture, will end up as the operating partner. TCI owns the other 25%.

TCI and the US West Media Group also agreed to exchange cable systems. TCI will hand over systems reaching about 508,000 subscribers in Southeast Florida, where US West has a powerful presence. In exchange, US West will surrender 542,000 subscribers in Southern Illinois and Central Michigan, where TCI will extend its dominance.

In a separate deal, TCI will pick up an additional 93,000 subscribers in the Chicago area from Gannett’s Multimedia Cablevision. In this exchange, TCI will give Multimedia 128,000 subscribers in the Kansas area.

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