Pay-TV's brave new world after Comcast-TWC

Daniel Frankel, FierceCableThe merger of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) was going to set off a chain reaction of consolidation, when it finally got approved.

As the deal inched its way through a laborious 14-month federal approval process, rival pay-TV operators, technology vendors, programming partners and others started planning for a business in which the top four operators combined into two.

Now, with the federal government's rejection of Comcast-TWC, only half of that equation will come to fruition, and a whole new kind of chain reaction has been set off. 

In our latest feature, FierceCable talks to--and examines reports from--top pay-TV analysts, looking at some of the major deals that might, or probably will, occur in the near term. 

What will Comcast do next? Will Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) have competition as it re-approaches TWC? What will happen to Charter's Bright House deal? How will the programming and vendor communities respond?

Leveraging the thoughts of leading cable industry investment analysts, we try to sort out the near-term future here.