The U.S. cable map has just changed. After 15 months of delays and regulatory wrangling, the $17 billion deal through which Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable will acquire Adelphia Communications Corp. and, at the conclusion, swap a number of systems, is expected to close today.
This is how the numbers now add up:
Time Warner Cable systems pass 27 million homes, up from about 19.8 million. The operator counts 14.5 million basic subscribers, up from 11 million. About 85% of those subscribers will be located in just five regions, or “clusters”: Southern California, where it will now serve 2.4 million households, up from 0.7 million; Texas, where it will serve 2.6 million, up from 2.0 million; the Carolinas, at 1.9 million, up from 1.7 million; Ohio, at 2.3 million, up from 1.5 million; and New York, at 3.1 million, up from 2.6 million.
Comcast, meanwhile, will expand its total number of subscribers to 23.3 million, up from about 21.5 million in the first quarter of this year. It strengthens its presence in markets such as Washington, D.C.; Boston; Minneapolis-St. Paul.; major Florida cities and Pittsburgh.
How will the industry now look, physically?
The map on these pages shows how the deal will transform the cable landscape in the top 20 markets in the United States.
The largest cable operator, Comcast, will continue to dominate the map with operations in 16 of the top 20 markets, serving nearly 14.4 million subscribers in them. Time Warner Cable, the second-largest operator and the third-largest multichannel television provider (after Comcast and DirecTV Inc.), will have systems in the top two markets and nine of the top 20 markets. It will now serve 5.7 million subscribers in those markets.