Charter CFO Winfrey: We want to bundle programming by genre

Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) wants to be more strategic in the way it bundles its programming and is trying to get programmers to enable it to package channels by genre.

The MSO's CFO, Christopher Winfrey, broke down the plan Monday while speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2015 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Fla.

"It sounds relatively straight forward, but it's difficult to achieve, to allow the cable or satellite operator to actually bundle the packages into genres so that you could sell more product, sell more programming to consumers in a way that actually makes sense, whether it's family packages, sports packages or broadcast tiers," Winfrey said.

Pay-TV operators in Europe already package programming in this manner. "The distributors in Europe had a lot more leeway in terms of putting genre-based packaging in place, and it's been very successful as a way for the distributor to sell and the programmers to get paid," he noted.

The bundle has to be rethought, Winfrey added, with so many content makers "devaluing" their programming by selling it to so many digital channels, and with programming costs spiraling.

Addressing a wide variety of topics Monday, Winfrey was also asked about recent reports suggesting Charter will try to acquire Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) if the FCC rejects Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) current agreement to buy the company.

Winfrey refused to comment, but did suggest Charter is anxious for the Comcast-TWC deal to close, given that Charter has a stake in the three-way portion of the transaction, and has secured financing to support it.

"I'm paying a million dollars a day in interest, so I'm anxious to get these transactions closed," Winfrey said.

For more:
- visit this Charter Communications investor relations page

Related links:
Charter more ready than ever to go after TWC if Comcast can't close deal, Liberty's Maffei says
Charter, Dish executives among new pay-TV industry stars to watch in 2015
Charter rebrands biz unit as Spectrum Business, splits enterprise, SMB units

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