& cplSiteName &

Six Cable Deals We Might See in 2013

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/21/2012
50%
50%

System swaps. Equipment buys. Market-altering moves. A change atop the U.S. cable MSO rankings. Those are some of the types of cable-related deals that could hit the headlines sometime in 2013.

We've come up with six total, including a two-fer involving Charter Communications Inc., which we think is going to have one heck of an interesting 2013. And that's only if part of what we think might happen actually happens.

Oh, and we've declined to put TiVo Inc. on this year's list of acquisition potentials. We realize that it's been fashionable to put TiVo on these kinds of lists for the last eight years or so, so perhaps keeping them off this one means something will actually pop this time.

Or did we just mess that up by mentioning them in the intro? Hard to tell. Anyway, on to our list:

1. Comcast Buys ADT
Comcast Corp. is one of several major service providers trying to wedge itself into the fragmented U.S. home monitoring and security market. While its new, broadband-fueled platform does add stickiness to an operator's overall service package, turning home security and monitoring into a material business could take a while through organic growth.

Comcast's alternative: a play for the market leader, ADT Corp., which has about 6.5 million customers in North America and only recently became a standalone company. ADT's CEO says the company intends to go it alone, though, what else is the guy supposed to say?

Still, ADT's departure from the Tyco International Ltd. mother ship would make an acquisition less messy, and possibly open the door to Comcast … or maybe another service provider with big home security aspirations, such as Verizon Communications Inc.

2. Charter & TW Cable Swap Some Systems
Toward the end of the year, there was a lot of chatter to "expect" Charter and Time Warner Cable Inc. to swap some systems that would make operational sense on both sides. Much of that talk centered on seeing Charter swap its Los Angeles properties for TW Cable's in Dallas. We haven't found any fire to go with the smoke, but such a deal would finally unify much of the L.A. region for TW Cable, and give Charter a cluster to complement its systems in Ft. Worth. Such a deal might also require some cash to change hands, too, since the TW Cable Dallas system has about 350,000 subscribers, while Charter's L.A. property serves about 230,000.

3. & 4. Charter Goes On a Buying Spree (If two buys count as a spree)
Growth has been the the mantra at Charter ever since former Cablevision Systems Corp. exec Tom Rutledge took the helm in February. Charter will look to get some of that growth organically by being aggressive in its own footprint, where its service penetration levels trail most of its peers.

But we also expect to see Charter pump things up through some M&A action. Charter's already rumored to be in the running for Cablevision's Optimum West properties (the former Bresnan Communications systems), which serve about 360,000 customers.

But does Rutledge have something even bigger (make that much bigger) in mind? The other rumor is that Charter, the fourth-largest incumbent MSO, wants to make a play for Cox Communications Inc., the nation's third-largest incumbent cable op. Of course, this presumes that Cox would even be open to a sale. But it would be a shrewd move by Rutledge if he can pull it off. If Rutledge's plan is to not just to transform Charter into a massive and highly-influential cable operator but also to help him get out of the shadow of Cablevision and the Dolan family and establish his legacy, swinging a deal for Cox would certainly fit the bill.

5. CommScope Buys a CMTS
CommScope Inc. already has good edge QAM technology, but it needs a Docsis piece to complete its development of a fully integrated Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), a high-density system that will combine the functions of the edgeQAM and a cable modem termination system. CommScope is working with a partner to fill in the CMTS/Docsis element, but there's another possible option that could present itself.

It so happens that Arris Group Inc. is in the process of buying Motorola's Home unit, and, as a result, Arris could soon find itself with a redundant CMTS product line alongside Motorola's CCAP-in-progress. Rather than keeping it or chucking it, Arris might find a willing buyer in CommScope. Or, possibly, in multiple interested parties, such as Aurora Networks Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc., that happen to be looking for ways to amp up their cable access game.

6. Cisco and ActiveVideo Tie the Knot
We've hinted at it before, and we still think this deal would just make a lot of sense. ActiveVideo Networks Inc. and its video cloud technology fit well into Cisco Systems Inc.'s platform (Cisco's licensing ActiveVideo's software, anyway) and ActiveVideo has some big customers, led by Cablevision, and a strong patent portfolio. It wouldn't cost Cisco a king's ransom to land it.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
torivar
50%
50%
torivar,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/5/2013 | 2:03:19 AM
re: Six Cable Deals We Might See in 2013


Charter making a play for Cox sounds fairly rediculous at this point.  Charter is still saddled with $10+B (with a B) in debt, how would they make a play for an entity they would have to pay another $10+B for?  


A merger of the two would be a huge undertaking.  Charter does have a few of the top engineering resources from Cox's past.  

From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TeliaSonera: Striving for Independence

2|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Peter Lagergren discusses the importance of decoupling the network from services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ken Wang on U-vMOS

2|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Ken Wang discusses how video will take of the traffic on carrier networks and become a basic service to provide to end users.
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/12/2016
Andreessen Facepalms on Facebook Free Basics
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/10/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.