What Does Charter Have to Say on Broadband Post-Merger?



Charter’s broadband expansion

In the previous part of this series, we learned about synergies from the Charter Communications (CHTR), Bright House Networks, and Time Warner Cable (TWC) transaction, which was completed on May 18, 2016. This transaction gives the new Charter Communications the second-largest wireline Internet base in the United States. After the merger, during the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit, Charter’s chairman of the board, CEO, and president Thomas M. Rutledge shed more light on the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) merger conditions for the expansion of the mass-market broadband footprint of the new Charter Communications.

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Rutledge stated “we’re really comfortable that we can build 2 million passings over a five-year period economically and at reasonable cost per passing given our expectations and penetration, ” adding that “we also committed to build 1 million of those against another high-speed broadband provider.” He also said that “we can also buy 250,000 cable customers who are not interconnected, who are in competitive markets and have those count.”

Charter’s footprint in the US wired Internet market

As shown in the above chart, and as of the end of 2015, Comcast’s (CMCSA) Internet customer base was the largest in the United States. Following Charter’s customer base, the third-largest Internet customer base was AT&T’s (T). Verizon (VZ) had the fourth-largest Internet subscriber base.

For a diversified exposure to some of the largest cable companies in the United States, you could consider investing in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The ETF held a total of ~0.88% in Comcast (CMCSA) and Cablevision Systems (CVC) as of May 25, 2016.


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