It’s not every day that our industry produces events that elicit as much attention and questions as the Comcast / Time Warner Cable merger announcement did last night. As you’ve no doubt heard, Comcast has announced its plans to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45B in an all-stock transaction. The questions that are pouring in from agents almost all revolve around “what will happen to us”?
To be quite honest, I feel like we’ve won the lottery. Not that we knew something like this was going to happen, but three years ago we made a strategic decision to create a Cable practice. This entailed the hiring and training of “Cable Support Specialists” and writing software in GeoQuote that was cable-specific. We’d never done anything like that before, but we saw the cables as becoming more and more important to the Channel at large. Since then we’ve invested a great deal of money, hiring 5 cable support specialists, writing Comcast and Time Warner Cable specific code in IT, and last year we were privileged to have Lanny Gray come over from his position as Director of Business Services at Comcast. To use a Vegas metaphor, we placed a massive bet on cable, and specifically, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Last year, our top suppliers were Comcast, Windstream, ACC Business, and Time Warner Cable, in that order. Just 3 years ago, cable was non-existent in our portfolio and now they occupy two of the top four spots in the stack. This is a direct reflection of our focus on cable, and specifically, making it easier to deal with them.