Mapping Out the Comcast-Charter Moves

Swaps Will Beef Up Charter's Midwestern Presence
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SNL Kagan literally mapped out the new clusters that will be created after Comcast and Charter Communications complete their expected transfer of about 3.9 million customers through a series of sales, swaps and spins expected to begin by the end of the year.

Comcast announced on April 28 its plan to sell about 1.4 million customers, spin out 2.5 million subscribers in a separate publicly traded company and swap another 1.6 million customers with Charter. The deal is valued at about $20 billion.

The companies have said which markets were involved, but have not said how many subscribers were in each of them.

Charter will beef up several existing markets through the sales, swaps and spins.

It will receive 1.4 million former Time Warner Cable subscribers in Ohio, including about 616,000 in the Cleveland and 408,000 in Columbus areas, according to SNL Kagan.

Charter’s Wisconsin cluster — currently at about 578,000 customer relationships — would grow by 372,000 subscribers in Milwaukee. And Charter would gain about 281,000 subscribers in Louisville, Ky.

“All of these assets are physically contiguous and put Charter in an operationally better footprint,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said recently. “We think from an operational perspective and the ability to take our existing successful model of growing our business, that model is enhanced by this enhanced footprint. The whole transaction was a way to allow us to restructure our footprint, increase the size of our company, increase the scale of the company and increase the ability to market the company and operate effectively.”

SpinCo’s largest markets would be Detroit (about 700,000 subscribers), Minneapolis-St. Paul (about 560,000) and Indianapolis (more than 380,000 subscribers).

Charter already has a big presence in SpinCo markets including Detroit, Minneapolis, Grand Rapids and Flint-Saginaw, Mich.

For Comcast, the transactions will beef up clusters in New York; Boston; Dallas/Fort Worth; Northern and Southern California; Atlanta; Tennessee and North Carolina.

Kagan says the transactions would involve about 277,000 subscribers in Los Angeles, 186,000 in Atlanta and 129,000 in Boston.

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