Well, whatever Charter offered to Comcast from a potential deal for TW Cable got their attention. Reports now say that Comcast is at least partially on-board to help Charter make a three-way deal actually plausible.
Supposedly, if the stars align and this deal goes through, Comcast would be purchasing several lucrative eastern pieces of TW Cable covering some 3M subscribers, including the big NYC market, a bunch in North Carolina, and some more in New England. It hasn’t been said, but if the North Carolina markets go to Comcast, I’m guessing the DukeNet assets would go along with them.
John Malone, whose Liberty Media owns a big chunk of Charter and who is said to be pushing for this bit of consolidation, seems to have his ducks lining up in a very nice row. Now all he has to do is to get TW Cable to say yes, which they have been rather reluctant to do, and for regulators to stand aside and let them get on with it.
TW Cable rebuffed Charter’s most recent effort, which prompted the latter to take their offer public to add pressure. With Comcast in the mix, the back room is back in charge and the extra cash Comcast can bring to the table for such assets would allow Charter to raise the cash portion of its bid. But the threat to air a bit more dirty laundry in public is still out there — as is some resentment for having done it already.