LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Charter Communications announced Tuesday it will buy Time Warner Cable for $55.33 billion and expects to launch the Dodgers channel to its customers in the coming weeks.
The deal creates one of the largest TV and Internet providers in the United States and means good news for Dodgers fans as TWC's ongoing standoff with other cable providers has resulted in a second consecutive season of blacked-out games for the majority of Los Angeles.
"Charter is committed to carrying SportsNet LA as soon as possible. We're excited for Charter customers to enjoy the network's games and in-depth programming," TWC's Director of Public Relations Eric Mangan said.
Currently, about 70 percent of the Southern California market does not have access to watch Time Warner Cable's SportsNet LA channel.
"We will be able to accelerate the deployment of faster internet speeds, state of the art video experiences, and fully featured voice products at highly competitive prices," President/CEO of Charter Communications Tom Rutledge said in a statement.
The deal comes a month after Comcast, the country's largest cable provider and owner of NBCUniversal, walked away from a $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable after intense pressure from regulators. Time Warner Cable had chosen the Comcast deal and rejected a $38 billion hostile offer from Charter in early 2014.
There has been a wave in consolidation in the cable industry as providers are lose TV subscribers, costs for TV, sports and movies rise and pressure from online video services such as Netflix and Hulu increases.
John Malone's Liberty Broadcast Corp., which owns more than a quarter of Charter's stock, is backing the acquisition, which gives the cable pioneer a jewel he has pursued for years and puts Charter in the same league as Comcast.
Time Warner Cable is the country's No. 2 cable company and serves large markets in Los Angeles and New York.
Charter on Tuesday also said it would buy Bright House Networks, a smaller cable provider, for $10.4 billion.
Charter, combined with Time Warner Cable and Bright House, will have nearly 24 million customers, compared with Comcast's 27.2 million. AT&T's pending deal with DirecTV would give it 26.4 million TV customers and 16.1 million Internet customers.
Liberty Broadband is expected to own about 20 percent of the new Charter.
Charter Communications Inc., based in Stamford, Connecticut, will provide $100 in cash and shares of a new public parent company equal to 0.5409 shares of Charter for each outstanding Time Warner Cable Inc. share. The transaction values each Time Warner Cable share at about $195.71.
The companies on Tuesday valued New York-based Time Warner Cable at a total of $78.7 billion, including debt.
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