News of a possible joint takeover of Time Warner Cable by Comcast and Charter Communications -- as well as another report of Charter seeking to arrange bank financing for a
Time Warner Cable acquisition -- sparked higher stock prices for many media companies.
Charter’s stock was up over 5% in midday trading, closing down nearly 3% to $130.74. Time Warner
Cable soared 10.3% midday trading, closing down 0.6% to $132.14; and Comcast was also 5% up, closing 0.2% to $49.60. Charter -- the fourth-largest cable operator -- is being pushed by John
Malone’s Liberty Media, which has a 27% stake in the company, to make a deal with Time Warner Cable, according to reports.
Time Warner Cable is the second-largest U.S. cable
operator; Comcast is the largest.
Malone has been outspoken in his belief that the cable industry needs more consolidation to help it build a more efficient business and start up new
digital video services to compete with Netflix.
Other big media movers on the day: Cablevision Systems Corp. grew 6% $15.80; Dish was up 5% during midday trading, ending down 0.1% to
$52.15; Lin Television was higher 2.3% to $26.60; Tribune was 4% improved to $71.50; and Media General grew 3.6% to $17.09.
Over the last year, TV station groups have witnessed sharply
higher stock prices due to a rash of big TV station group mergers and acquisitions.
Analysts believe that bigger TV station companies could give those companies more leverage in dealing
with cable operators -- as well as satellite and telco TV distributors -- when it comes to grabbing higher retransmission fees.
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