Cable Catchup

11:25 AM -- Staying in tune with some of the latest cable news...

  • Charter Communications Inc. recently tweaked its bankruptcy plan, but the MSO is not out of the financial woods yet.

    Reuters reports that Charter faces stiff challenges from senior lenders claiming that "the plan was full of 'gimmicks' and violates the bankruptcy code." Charter, the report said, realized that the low interest rates on its senior debt could be turned into one of the MSO's greatest assets if they could be reinstated, but JPMorgan, holder of $8.5 billion of that debt, claims Charter's reorg plan would change control of the company and create a default "that would make debt reinstatement impossible."

    Charter's fast-track plan intends to see the MSO emerge from bankruptcy later this summer. Charter filed its Chapter 11 petitions on March 27. (See Charter Turns to Chapter 11.)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and other MSOs will still have to contend with a video-capable Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) for the foreseeable future after the telco reset its co-marketing deal with DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) today. Qwest, which got out of the VDSL-fed video business last fall, has been offering video services in tandem with DirecTV since October 2004. (See Qwest Tuning Out ChoiceTV and DirecTV, Qwest Extend Alliance.)

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) may soon have a new way to grab local hi-def broadcast signals -- or perhaps a new, old way to do so. EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), Charlie Ergen's tech spinoff, just struck a deal to use a silicon tuner from Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR) that includes an HD over-the-air module for "select" set-tops. (See EchoStar Adds Entropic Tuner.)

    Cable's thinking along these lines, too. In March 2007, CableLabs launched in initiative to develop interface specs that would let cable set-tops receive off-air digital broadcast signals.

  • Over at Video Nuze, Will Richmond opines that the cable networks will have "little-to-no incentive" to offer their best stuff to non-paying video subs once the "TV Everywhere" initiative really gets off the ground. That, he adds, will help keep the concept of "cord-cutting" in check and steer it well clear of mass appeal. (See TW, Comcast Cast 'TV Everywhere' Principles and Time Warner, Comcast Team Up for TV Everywhere.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:00:15 PM
    re: Cable Catchup

    More from this week's testimony involving Charter....Former Lazard exec and Charter advisor said the MSO tried to sell itself multiple times in the 18 months before the operator filed for bankruptcy, and that talks may have crumbled amid a credit freeze.

    Charter chief Neil Smit is also slated to testify today.




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