You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Time Warner Cable Spent $62 Million in Q1 Prepping for Comcast Merger

Time Warner Cable incurred $62 million in costs for the first three months of 2014 to lay the groundwork for Comcast’s $45 billion acquisition bid, which is pending regulatory approval.

TW Cable, the second-biggest U.S. cable operator, said that costs related to the proposed Comcast merger included $29 million in employee-retention costs plus $33 million in advisory and legal fees.

While the company continued to shed residential video subscribers — dropping 34,000 in Q1 — Time Warner Cable touted it as the lowest quarterly loss in five years. The MSO’s momentum in broadband continued, as it added 269,000 high-speed Internet customers in the period. In the residential segment, Time Warner Cable now has more broadband customers (11.4 million) than TV subs (11.2 million).

Total revenue grew 2% year over year, to $5.58 billion, helped by 24% increase in business services revenue. That was slightly below analyst consensus estimates of $5.64 billion. TW Cable’s net profit jumped 19.5%, to $479 million; adjusted earnings per share of $1.78 (up 26.2%) beat Wall Street expectations of $1.68 per share.

“These results underscore our commitment to deliver on our financial and operating plan as we prepare for our merger with Comcast,” Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus said in announcing the results. Marcus, who became the MSO’s chief exec Jan. 1, will reap $79.8 million in severance, bonus and stock if the Comcast deal is completed.

Time Warner Cable’s small decline in TV customers comes after it suffered sharp losses in the two previous quarters, dropping 306,000 and 217,000 for Q3 and Q4 2014, respectively. Those declines were partly the result of the monthlong blackout of CBS stations and other nets during a contract standoff last summer.

Over all, TW Cable tallied net additions of 148,000 customer relationships — the most in more than seven years — thanks to the surge in broadband.

For the first quarter, average monthly programming costs per video subscriber grew 10.1% year over year, to $36.51, which TW Cable said was driven primarily by contractual rate increases. Total programming costs, which include those for its L.A. Lakers regional sports networks and SportsNet LA, an RSN carrying Dodgers games and other sports programming, grew 2.9% to $1.3 billion for the period.

Capital spending rose 8.3%, to $834 million, for the first three months of 2014. TW Cable said the increase was driven by investments to improve network reliability, upgrade older customer-premises equipment and expand its network to additional residences, commercial buildings and cell towers.

More Biz

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

  • Joe Dante Gremlins

    Hollywood Execs Seek Licensing Deals at the New York Toy Fair

    On Feb. 16 more than 30,000 studio executives, buyers and toy company reps will gather in Manhattan for the annual Toy Fair New York, all vying for market share and trying to snag the latest hot trend in a fast-changing industry. Those working the film side of the business will focus much of their attention [...]

  • Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper A Star

    Universal Music Group Fuels 11.3% Rise in Vivendi's 2018 Revenues

    Vivendi’s revenues were up 11.3% to €13.93 billion ($15.7 billion) in 2018, powered by Universal Music Group, which delivered such hits as the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack and Drake’s new album. UMG’s revenues climbed by 10% to €6 billion ($6.8 billion) compared to 2017. On top of the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, the [...]

  • The Blacklist 100th Episode

    'The Blacklist' EP Sues for Wrongful Termination

    A former executive producer of the NBC show “The Blacklist” has filed suit against Sony, alleging he was fired after being wrongfully blamed for a workplace scuffle. Michael Watkins is a veteran TV director and cinematographer. He was an executive producer for several seasons of “The Blacklist,” the NBC crime show starring James Spader. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content