Charter Communication's (NASDAQ: CHTR) bid to acquire Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks has a bit more bounce in it after the influential founder of African-American network Bounce TV, U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, endorsed the deal.
"We support Charter Communications' pending transactions with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Charter has long been a strong supporter of minority-owned networks like Bounce TV and we believe that these transactions are in the public interest and will be beneficial to Bounce TV viewers, African Americans and all ethnicities," Young said in a statement.
Program diversity--or lack thereof--was a key issue in the run-up to Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) successful 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and ultimately unsuccessful 2014-15 bid to buy TWC. As a condition of the former, the FCC mandated that Comcast launch, or help launch, new channels offering African-American and Hispanic perspectives. Comcast's performance regarding that mandate became a sticking point during the regulatory review of its TWC bid.
Further augmenting Charter's regulatory prospects, analysts have reacted favorably to the company's public interest statement, filed as part of the just-started FCC review of the company's TWC and Bright House deals.
Wrote New Street Research's Jonathan Chaplin: "It appears to us that Charter has paid close attention to the government's concerns about the Comcast deal and the negotiations over conditions in the AT&T deal. While we don't think the statements will be sufficient in and of themselves, we think the statements give us greater confidence the deal will be approved and that getting the deal done by the first quarter of 16 is likely."
- read this Bounce TV press release
FCC starts review of Charter's TWC and Bright House deals
Analyst: 80%-85% chance that feds will approve Charter-TWC deal
Charter marketing $13.8B in loans for TWC purchase, report says