Cablevision's Seibert: Cord-cutter package is 'giving our programming friends heartburn'

Cablevision Vice Chairman Gregg Seibert conceded that the MSO's bundling of broadband services and over-the-air antennas in a so-called "cord-cutter" package is giving its "programming friends heartburn."

Speaking to investors, he also downplayed the significance of the product, adding: "Is that going to be our core product in the future? No."

Seibert made these comments while delivering a wide-ranging address at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Telecom & Media Conference in London, an event covered by The Hollywood Reporter

Asked to follow up on Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) CEO James Dolan's public plea to consolidate the New York cable market, Seibert indicated that Charter Communication's (NASDAQ: CHTR) $56.7 billion purchase agreement with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) probably means that consolidation won't happen soon. 

"That feels to me like it's a ways away," he said. "I don't see it as a today or tomorrow opportunity."

At the INTX trade event in May, Dolan suggested a merger of Cablevision and TWC could produce a nifty consolidation of TWC's Manhattan-centric cable assets and the suburban cable systems, owned by Cablevision, that surround it. With TWC in Charter's hands, there is no immediate path to this combination, Seibert noted. 

Asked if Cablevision could be somehow be part of the Charter-TWC deal, Seibert said Cablevision is now focused on running "our business as well as we can operate it."

For more:
- read this Hollywood Reporter story

Related links:
Cable analysts: Altice's Drahi will target Cablevision, Cox, Mediacom
Cablevision shares spike 18% as analysts peg it as next M&A target
Cablevision's Dolan makes public TWC merger proposal at INTX

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