& cplSiteName &

Rutledge Sets Stage for New Charter

Mari Silbey
4/28/2016
0%
100%

New Charter, same as the old Charter. Well, not really, but the name will stay the same.

Explaining that he expects Charter Communications Inc. to close on its acquisitions of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks within days of regulatory approval, CEO Tom Rutledge also announced that New Charter will keep its historical name. (See Wheeler Recommends Charter Deals.)

"After a lot of creative thought, we've decided to call the new company, Charter," quipped Rutledge on the company's quarterly earnings call.

The decision is appropriate given that Rutledge plans to unroll the same strategic roadmap for the company's new properties that he used in upgrading legacy Charter when he took over as CEO in 2012. Rutledge will start by ramping up the conversion to all-digital video in TWC and Bright House markets and implementing new pricing and packaging to match what Charter offers across its current footprint. The chief executive said he expects to complete those processes by the end of 2018.

Rutledge readily acknowledged that Charter will have to spend money in order to make the most of its new assets.

"Our objective is to actually accelerate the growth rate," he said "and in order to do that we're going to spend more capital... and we're going to package in such a way that we think we get longer-term revenue growth and get that revenue growth over a longer period of time with the quality of the products that we're selling into the market."


For more on broadband and video market trends, join us at our upcoming Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, May 24-25. Register now!

While higher capex spending is a given, Charter will also enjoy some immediate benefits from its acquisitions. Programming expenses, for example, will go down in relative terms thanks to rates that Time Warner Cable has already negotiated for content licensing. Increased size will also offer Charter major advantages going forward, as it can use its scale to drive efficiency.

Rutledge stated that Charter plans to centralize marketing, sales and product development departments after the close of the deals, and that it will consolidate the combined field operations group from all three companies into 11 distinct regions. While Rutledge added that the field operations regions would "be managed with largely the same set of field employees that are with the three companies today," there are still cost savings to be gained just from consolidating offices.

As Light Reading reported this week, it appears that Network Operations Centers (NOCs) owned by TWC and Bright House in Charlotte, N.C.; Herndon, Va.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and St. Petersburg, Fla. are slated to close over the next year and a half. (See Charter Jumps Gun on TWC Restructuring.)

Regarding Charter's quarterly financial statements, the company continued a trend today started by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable by reporting increases in residential video and broadband subscribers. (See Comcast Can't Be Beat on Broadband and TWC Goes Out With a Bang.)

Charter added 10,000 video customers and 141,000 Internet subs in the first quarter, bringing its total number of residential customer relationships up to 6.4 million. Total first quarter revenue also jumped 7.1% compared to a year ago, landing at $2.5 billion.

Overall earnings were less favorable. Charter lost $188 million in the first quarter thanks to financing arrangements put in place for the upcoming acquisitions. Those losses were higher than analysts expected. The Zack's Consensus Estimate predicted that Charter would lose $0.84 per share, while Charter actually reported a loss of $1.68 per share.

Among other milestones in the earnings report, Charter also announced that its cloud-based Spectrum TV guide is now available in Fort Worth, Texas; Reno, Nev.; and St. Louis, Miss. The company expects to roll the product out to most of the rest of its legacy markets by the end of the year.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
alanbreznick
50%
50%
alanbreznick,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/3/2016 | 11:43:08 AM
Charter Enforcement
As usual, the key will be how the feds enforce the conditions. Will be interesting to see who the New Charter overlord will be.
WhoCares73658
50%
50%
WhoCares73658,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/29/2016 | 4:14:55 PM
Get ready for the Charter A$$ Shaft.
All this big train wreck will do is.

1. Bring a new high price to you.

2. Your Net speed will go to hell.

3. Your service will be like shi%

4. And millions will out of work.

Get Real!   You really think Charter will go by all the rules the FCC & JD have put on this deal. Ha! ha!.

CH

harter is NOT Dumb. There are a TON of loop holes in the train wreck I bet. And Charter will use everyone of them to saft you.

Get ready to bend over & SMILE!    Charter is coming to your town soon..
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
The Big Cable DAA Update
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/11/2017
Telecom Italia Covers 73% of Italy With NB-IoT
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/13/2017
Tribalism Is Rife in Telecom, Too
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/13/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed