Charter-New York Dispute Could Hurt Masters, Agents

New York State’s decision to revoke its approval of the 2016 merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable, and bar Charter, doing business as Spectrum, from operating in the state, has prompted questions from the channel.

… Larry Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of The 2112 Group, and Channel Partners’ Editorial Advisory Board member, said what’s taking place between New York and Charter is a “battle of wills.”

“The New York Public Service Commission fired a pretty big shot across the bow of Charter Communications because it failed to extend broadband internet service to rural residential and business customers,” he said. “This dispute will go to court and stay there long after the 60-day transition ordered by New York. I wouldn’t anticipate any changes in service to residential or commercial customers for the foreseeable future.”

However, the dispute will “sully” Spectrum and Charter’s reputation, and raise questions about its viability in New York, therefore making it harder for master agents and agents to sell Charter services, Walsh said.

“Without knowing Spectrum’s arrangements in other states, the New York dispute could become contagious,” he said. “Other states with similar issues could use the tactic to pressure Spectrum to either accelerate infrastructure improvements or extract concessions for maintaining their operating licenses. I suspect Spectrum will survive this dispute with the State of New York, but it won’t end pretty. It will definitely leave a mark.”...

Written by Edward Gately

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