Time Warner Details Adelphia Integration

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New York -- Time Warner Cable chief operating officer Landel Hobbs offered some more details on the cable giant’s integration plans for Adelphia Communications Corp. at an investor conference Tuesday.

Hobbs, speaking at the Credit Suisse First Boston Global Media Week conference here, said Time Warner has six regional operating teams, 13 functional teams and about 200 employees working on the integration.

Time Warner and Comcast Corp. jointly agreed to purchase Adelphia’s 5.2 million subscribers in April for $17.6 billion in cash and stock. As part of the deal, Time Warner will receive about 3.5 million Adelphia subscribers.

At the conference, Hobbs said the Adelphia-integration team is primarily working on back-office and billing issues. It is prohibited by federal law from actually running the Adelphia systems until after the close of the deal, which is expected in the first half of 2006.

Hobbs added that Time Warner will carry on its history of cutting-edge innovation, citing its “Start Over” service (which allows viewers to jump back to the beginning of a program that has already started), and plans for switched-digital service and digital simulcast.

He said Time Warner has rolled out digital simulcast in Raleigh, N.C., and New York to strong results, adding that digital simulcast should be fully deployed across its footprint in 2006.

Switched-digital video is currently being tested in Austin, Texas, and Hobbs said about one-third of the MSO’s divisions should have that capability by the end of 2006.

Hobbs also pointed to interactive-television initiatives, focusing on tests that center on customer care. He said Time Warner has already rolled out the ability for customers to upgrade service and pay their bills through their TVs in seven divisions, and that deployment will continue in 2006.

As an example, he said, the Austin market received 7,500 upgrade requests through the interactive component in 60 days, or more than one-third of all upgrade requests during that period.

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