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It’s a year in review, so we are going to take a look back at the top four stories in cable from 2015 filled with mergers, new laws, and some setbacks.

What happened in 2015 and how did it affect consumers and providers?

The world continues to change and so does the realm of cable. Last year was surrounded by mergers and acquisitions, cable figuring out new ways to integrate streaming services into their packages, and some pending mergers that are continuing into 2016. The top stories below summarize what happened, where we are now, and what 2016 is looking like so far in the world of cable.

  1. Comcast ends bid for TWC, but what lies ahead? by Kelly Potter, Comcast began its bid for Time Warner Cable back in 2014 and the deal was set to go in the beginning of 2015, but the FCC put a halt to the bid when they said it wasn’t in the best interest of the consumer and the two cable companies combined would’ve owned between 40-57 percent of the broadband market. Comcast formally withdrew its bid for $45.2 billion on April 24th, 2015.
  2. Charter and TWC – Volume 1 Benefits for the Cable Industry by Kelly Potter, News had switched rapidly at the end of April early May from Comcast and TWC to Charter and TWC with a new offer on the table of $79 billion to acquire both TWC and Bright House. The New Charter deal is still under review by the FCC and a final decision has been delayed another two weeks. Which way do you think it will go?
  3. TWC receives the first complaint on Net Neutrality by Kelly Potter, New net neutrality rules were set in late June of 2015 that stated Internet providers are to comply with a ban against paid prioritization, thereby disallowing different treatment for different websites and content. TWC in early July received the first complaint on the new rule filed by Commercial Network Services.
  4. Comcast 2016 Streaming Service for Users by Kelly Potter, Comcast is reportedly planning a launch this year, 2016, of a new streaming service which will be offered as an add-on to the company’s high-speed internet customers. The streaming service will allow Comcast to have a stake in the online streaming market among the other players in the game including, Dish Network, Hulu, and Netflix.

What to expect in 2016 for cable

The year is shaping up to look like a year of mergers and acquisitions based on the pending Charter and TWC deal along with streaming services becoming more and more prominent that cable companies may need to partner up or develop their own strategies. Comcast, as mentioned above, is in the midst of adding on a streaming package to their already existing customer package, but will it be enough to over come the Netflix’s and Hulu’s of the world?

Changes in technology could pose a challenge for cable providers, such as enhances in Apple products, Google Chrome streaming your favorite shows to your TV without a cable subscription, and many other devices that are already on the market making changes and enhancements to entice that millennial to switch from the traditional cable use and get the baby boomers to jump on board.

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However, this is election year, where cable could take the reigns with viewership watching Fox News, CNN and MSNBC to get the latest updates on your favorite candidates. It was reported that for the first time ever, Fox news ranked second among all cable channels in weekday prime-time audience size, with an average of 1.8 million viewers, according to the network’s compilation of Nielsen data. This is a huge benefit to cable providers providing this content for the year to their subscribers.

It will be an interesting year to see the adjustments that both cable and streaming services will take on to secure their customers…let the games continue.