Altice is set to become one of five telecom companies that control around half the global pay-TV market. According to Ampere Analysis, Altice will control around 3.1 of global pay-TV revenue once its U.S. cable deals close. Altice is poised to acquire Suddenlink Communications and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) in the United States, adding them to its European pay-TV holdings.
Meanwhile, with its acquisition of DirecTV closed, AT&T is the global leader in pay-TV market share, Ampere said, controlling 18 percent of worldwide revenue. John Malone came in second in Ampere's ranking, with the combination of his Liberty Global joining his sizable interest in the proposed "New Charter." If U.S. regulators sign off on Charter's (NASDAQ: CHTR) proposed purchases of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks, Malone's assets will control 9.5 percent of global pay-TV revenue, Ampere said.
Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) sits in third place with 9.3 percent of global revenue, the research company added. Rupert Murdoch is in fourth place, controlling Sky Europe, as well as pay-TV assets in India and Australia.
As Altice joins an elite circle of global pay-TV giants, it's also experiencing subscriber losses within the ranks of recently closed acquisitions. For example, investors are concerned that Altice's Numericable Sfr PA has been losing wireless customers as Altice tries to cut costs at the French telecom unit.
And there is now concern that Altice's pledges of similar budgetary austerity at Suddenlink and Cablevision could result in similar customer exoduses.
MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett recently told Reuters that Altice might be planning to cut too much. "You're talking about huge cuts to customer service levels to installation and maintenance costs to marketing and promotions," he said. "You can't expect to be able to make dramatic cuts... without having an impact on the business."
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