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Nation & World

Sources: Comcast could get East Coast franchises

PHILADELPHIA – Comcast Corp. could acquire Time Warner Cable Co.’s New York cable-TV properties, along with other franchises on the East Coast, in a deal with Charter Communications Inc., according to sources in the industry.

A deal would expand Comcast’s market power along the people-packed Amtrak corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable-TV company, already offers cable and Internet in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.

Charter Communications declined comment on Monday. Comcast also had no comment.

Charter Communications has offered $132.50 a share for Time Warner Cable’s equity, but Time Warner Cable has rebuffed the offer as inadequate, seeking $160 a share.

Analysts believe Charter Communications has to bring Comcast into a deal to sweeten its bid because of the billions of dollars it would have to borrow for Time Warner Cable, which is substantially larger.

As a deal has been described, Charter Communications would purchase Time Warner Cable, then resell some of its cable properties to Comcast.

Industry observers believe Charter Communications could propose a slate of directors to be nominated to Time Warner Cable’s board to gain control of the company.

Cable pioneer John Malone owns about 27 percent of Charter Communications. He has said that cable companies must consolidate to gain leverage with the content providers that sell their cable channels to pay-TV distributors.


©2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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