'Hell, yes!' Malone will go after TWC if Comcast can't close the deal

Liberty Global Media Chairman John Malone hasn't given up on acquiring Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

Asked during Liberty's investor day event Wednesday if he'd go after the MSO if its proposed acquisition by Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) was scuttled by regulators, Malone responded with an emphatic "Hell, yes."

Not that he sees that prospect as likely--he put the chances of the FCC and Department of Justice approving the $45 billion deal at 80 percent.

"I probably would have said 90 percent when it was announced," Malone told CNBC's Chris Faber in a separate speaking engagement Wednesday. "This new theory that high-speed connectivity is a market unto itself bothers me a lot."

That said, Malone said he's happier with way the proposed Comcast deal helps the U.S. cable system Liberty backs, Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR). If the Comcast-TWC deal goes through, Charter swaps a number of cable systems with Comcast and becomes the No. 2 cable company in the U.S., dominant in 10 states.

"In many ways, from our point of view, it's a better deal than going after" 100 percent of TWC, Malone says.

Malone also took straight shots at President Obama's endorsement of Title II Internet regulation.

"There's nothing broken about the Internet right now," he said. "I don't think he's [Obama] thought it through."

Addressing a wide range of topics, Malone also doesn't envision pay-TV migrating to a totally a la carte paradigm. "I don't think we're going to see 27 different over-the-top services that consumers are going to have an individual relationship with. I don't think the consumer wants that much trouble in their lives," he said.

For more:
- read this CNBC transcript
- read this Deadline Hollywood story

Related links:
Liberty-Sirius deal could fuel Time Warner Cable acquisition
Merger speculation is propelling TWC stock price up 45%
Wheeler's comments foreboding to Comcast-TWC merger? Depends who you ask

Suggested Articles

Cable, satellite, and telecom pay TV providers should expect one of the worst years ever for cord cutting, according to eMarketer.

Comcast may be under pressure to split up its cable and media businesses and one analyst said that such a move could unlock value for both assets.

Blockgraph has partnered with TVSquared to provide omni-channel TV measurement and audience activation.