Setting the Record Straight on the Comcast Time Warner Cable Transaction
Once we strip away all of the rhetoric, the inescapable truth is that the proposed combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable will mean faster Internet, more video choices, more independent and Latino-focused programming for Southern California communities. It is a true win-win for one of our nation’s most important regions and for the Latino community overall. If NALIP members look underneath the hood at the deal, we think they will see a lot to like.
Comcast is already a thriving member of the local community, as the parent company of NBCUniversal.
Today, Comcast is investing more than $1 billion in NBCUniversal’s west coast facilities. This is the single largest private investment in the history of Los Angeles production and tourism industries, generating billions of dollars of economic impact. Comcast looks forward to increasing investments locally following close of the Time Warner Cable transaction.
The switch to Comcast technology will boost Internet speeds and deliver next generation video services throughout our new Southland territories. Through our state of the art X1 operating system and Xfinity.com, we offer 300,000 on demand video choices, and 50 channels of live streaming TV consumers can watch anywhere in or out of the home. X1s vast array of features from voice control to integration with apps and services like Rotten Tomato reviews to our cutting edge disability access services make this the most advanced, user friendly way to watch television ever devised.
For programmers and program producers, the benefits are even more resounding. Comcast carries over 160 independent networks, including small, diverse, and international networks. Comcast has launched or expanded carriage of 141 unaffiliated networks in recent years to reach more than 217 million customers, collectively. Post-transaction, six out of seven networks that Comcast carries will continue to be unaffiliated. It’s no surprise that independent programmers have called Comcast their “best friend” in the business
This is especially true for Latino programming. Comcast is America’s biggest and best provider of Latino network packages in Spanish and English language, with up to 60 Hispanic networks offered on Comcast cable systems. Comcast has increased Video on Demand and digital programming across platforms, and provided easier access to this content with unprecedented support for all Latino-focused independent channels to drive viewers to the content. The first-of-its-kind Xfinity Latino Entertainment Channel, a linear channel that promotes curated, Latino content, boasts a specialized microsite with editors and bloggers to create, share, and discuss content.
As part of our acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011, we pledged to increase ethnic and independent programming; we’ve more than fulfilled this commitment. We successfully launched two independent networks with Latino ownership and management: El Rey, created by legendary Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez, and Baby First Americas. At the same time, we expanded the number of customers reached by nine Hispanic networks by 17 million, 70 percent higher than the commitment we made.
Finally, our expansion into Southland markets has additional value to the Latino communities we will serve. Comcast Internet Essentials broadband adoption program has won accolades to close the digital divide and ensure low-income families have access to 21st century digital skills. Internet Essentials has already connected 1.4 million Americans to broadband at home, providing a $9.99 Internet connection, a heavily subsidized computer, and free digital literacy training. We have increased Internet speeds and expanded program eligibility for Internet Essentials multiple times, and it is a powerful new tool for social change that will be available in our new communities.
Yet still, some critics ignore these consumer and programming benefits, and claim the transaction isn’t positive because it will hurt competition. The problem is, that’s just not true. Because Comcast and Time Warner Cable do not compete head to head in any market, the deal does not reduce or lessen customer choice in any way. It simply swaps one cable and Internet provider for another in a way that consumers will benefit from in demonstrable ways in terms of faster Internet speeds and better and more inclusive programming.
Critics falsely claim that post-transaction there will be one pay television provider to serve more than 90% of Latino cable subscribers. This number is inaccurate, and ignores robust competition from other providers including DirecTV, Dish, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FIOS, Google Fiber, and the vast and expanding universe of online services from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon. The truth is, the combined company will serve markets reaching approximately 78% of U.S. Latino households, but critically only a portion of these households will actually subscribe so the figure of customers served by the company will be far lower. And that 78% doesn’t seem so high when you consider that companies like Dish Network, DirecTV, Netflix, and Amazon already reach virtually 100% of all households. We’ll still be behind them in reach after this deal.
Ultimately, the market is changing quickly and is increasingly populated by national and global players. This transformation is driving fundamental changes and raising expectations of both consumers and business customers. We're running on a fast track that's getting faster all the time, and more crowded with powerful competitors who were not part of the equation ten years ago: Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. These companies are all smart and aggressive, and all are bigger than Comcast in terms of market capitalization, customers, or both.
Comcast stands toe-to-toe with any competitor when it comes to technological innovation and the quality of our products for consumers and businesses. And our proposed combination with Time Warner Cable will allow us to do even more for our customers and partners in the Latino communit
To learn more, visit http://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/twctransaction-hero.