Maybe this explains why Time Warner Cable apparently missed the memo about allowing users to self-install CableCARD, they’ve been distracted by discussions on acquiring Insight Communications for $3 billion. Based on the NCTA’s March rankings, TWC is the fourth largest MVPD in the US, and second largest cable MSO, with 12,357,000 basic video customers, after Comcast’s 22,763,000. (Satellite MVPDs DirecTV and Dish Network take the second and third spots with 19,407,000 and 14,191,000, respectively.) Insight is the thirteenth largest MVPD, eleventh MSO, with 693,000. So the merger leaves TWC in fourth place, but closed the gap with Dish.
The press release cites 750,000 customers for Insight, the discrepancy is probably explained by different counting methods – the NCTA is concerned only with video, while data and voice customers are counted in the higher figure. The PR states Insight is“serving approximately 537,000 high-speed data subscribers, 679,000 video subscribers and 297,000 voice subscribers”.
I think we’ll see continuing consolidation in the MVPD space given the gulf between the top four MVPDs and fifth place Cox at 4,899,000 with numbers dropping by roughly a million for every two spots on the list, until it is under a million after twelfth place Mediacom at 1,175,000. With broadband content access, OTT content, mobile apps, etc., all becoming important competitive offerings the larger providers, with economy of scale on their side, will have an easier time of it. I think this will put pressure on the mid-sized MSOs to merge with peers or acquire smaller MSOs to boost their userbase, and for the smaller MSOs to look for a buyout.
Time will tell.
(#6 Charter, #11 Suddenlink, and #16 RCN are the three MSOs who’ve committed to using TiVo hardware.)
Via CNET News.