Execs: System Shift Should Be Smooth

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While integration will be the buzzword for Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp executives for the next 12 months as they wait for their $17.6 billion acquisition of Adelphia Communications Corp. to close, two top executives at the acquiring MSOs said Friday they believe this will be one of the easier ones.

Comcast executive vice president and co-chief financial officer John Alchin said in an interview that while no integration is easy, the fact the 1.8 million Adelphia and Time Warner Cable subscribers it is acquiring as part of the deal are mostly located near existing Comcast clusters makes the integration process less murky.

“Given that the net addition of 1.8 million subscribers — we’re still only at 10% above our current footprint and its 10% that is dovetailed for the most part up against systems or geographic areas we already do business in — I think this is going to be relatively straightforward,” Alchin said.

Alchin added that while Comcast is waiting for the deal to close — expected in nine to 12 months — Comcast executives will likely be poring over their marketing plans and budgets in preparation to implement their plans for the Adelphia systems soon after the deal closes.

Britt, who is taking on about 3.5 million subscribers from Adelphia and Comcast, agreed. “Most of the properties we’re getting are adjacent to or part of our existing DMAs,” he said. “For those properties, they’ll just slide right in to our existing operations.”

Time Warner Cable chief financial officer Landel Hobbs said that integration will be handled on a corporate and regional basis.

Hobbs also said it’s possible a new position will be created: a regional executive vice president for Los Angeles. Britt said that while that Los Angeles executive has not been named yet, it’s likely to be an existing Time Warner person.

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