Comcast, the nation’s largest provider of cable TV service and with over $62.5 billion in 2012 revenue, the world’s largest media company, will scoop up America’s second-largest cable service in a massive buyout set to be announced Thursday morning.
Comcast has agreed to pay about $159 per share to acquire Time Warner Cable, CNBC’s David Faber reported on Twitter.
— DAVID FABER (@davidfaber) February 13, 2014
Numerous other media outlets also reported the blockbuster merger on Wednesday night. The total deal will cost Comcast $45.2 billion, according to reports.
The deal, if granted federal approval, would give the newly merged company control over one of every three cable subscriptions in the United States.
The Philadelphia-based Comcast is swooping in and blocking a bid by Charter Communications, which had its eyes on Time Warner Cable. Charter Communications had earlier offered about $138 per share, but Time Warner swatted that bid away, saying it wanted $160.
With the reported Comcast deal, it looks like Time Warner Cable will get very near to what it demanded from Charter.
Media giant Comcast already owns the NBC television network and Universal Studios, one of the six major movie studios whose most recent hit is the comedy Ride Along. Universal’s movie-themed amusement parks in Los Angeles, Florida, Japan and Singapore also make Comcast a major player in the theme park industry.
Time Warner Cable was formerly part of the Time Warner media empire, but in 2009 its parent company severed ties with its cable subsidiary to focus on its media content properties such as Warner Bros Studios. Since then, Time Warner Cable has functioned as a independent corporation that licenses the Time Warner name from its former owner.
News of the mega-merger with Comcast comes at the same time as, according to a Bloomberg BusinessWeek report, Time Warner is preparing to announce a deal with Apple, to provide content to the next version of the Cupertino, California-based technology company’s Apple TV set-top device.
Users of Apple TV can now watch TV programming, some of it at its actual time of airing, others only on a delayed “on demand” basis, through a variety of apps such as HBO GO, Watch ESPN and others.
Under the reported deal with Time Warner Cable, the new Apple TV would offer a greater volume of “live” streaming television content. But whether the Comcast merger will affect the Apple TV deal is unclear at this time.