Time Warner Cable, Inc.
FormerlyTelevision Communications Corp. (1962–1973)
Warner Cable (1973–1979, 1986–1992)
Warner-Amex Cable (1979–1986)
Time Warner Communications (1992–1995)
Company typePublic
PredecessorAmerican Television and Communications (1968–1991)
  • 1962; 62 years ago (1962) (as Television Communications Corp.)
  • 1973; 51 years ago (1973) (as Warner Cable)
DefunctMay 18, 2016; 8 years ago (2016-05-18)
FateAcquired by Charter Communications and merged with Bright House Networks to form Charter Spectrum
SuccessorCharter Spectrum
HeadquartersTime Warner Center, ,
United States
Area served
United States
Key people
Robert D. Marcus (chairman & CEO)
ParentKinney National Company (1972)
Warner Communications (1972–1990)
Time Warner (1990–2009)
Charter Communications (2016)
SubsidiariesTime Warner Cable Enterprises LLC
Time Warner Cable building entrance in Morrisville, North Carolina

Time Warner Cable, Inc. (TWC) was an American cable television company. Before it was acquired by Charter Communications on May 18, 2016, it was ranked the second largest cable company in the United States by revenue behind only Comcast, operating in 29 states.[1] Its corporate headquarters were located in the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City,[2] with other corporate offices in Stamford, Connecticut; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Herndon, Virginia.[3]

It was controlled by Warner Communications, then by Time Warner (later known as WarnerMedia and presently Warner Bros. Discovery). The company had spun off its cable operations in March 2009 as part of a larger restructuring. From 2009 to 2016, Time Warner Cable was an entirely independent company, continuing to use the Time Warner name under license from its former parent company (including the "Road Runner" name for its Internet service, that was merged into what is now Spectrum Internet).

In 2014, the company was the subject of a proposed purchase by Comcast Corporation, valued at $45.2 billion; however, following opposition to the deal by various groups, along with plans by the U.S. government to try to block the merger, Comcast called off the deal in April 2015. On May 26, 2015, Charter Communications announced that it would acquire Time Warner Cable for $78.7 billion, along with Bright House Networks in a separate $10.1 billion deal, pending regulatory approval.[4]

The purchase was completed on May 18, 2016; Charter had continued to do business as Time Warner Cable in its former markets, but has now re-branded these operations under the Spectrum brand in most markets (a brand of Charter which launched in 2014), though it will continue to use the roadrunner.com email addresses and adelphia.net email addresses to new customers.[5]



Time Warner Cable traces back to two cable entities owned by Time Inc. & Warner Communications respectively in the 1970s; American Television and Communications, which was established in 1968, and would be acquired by Time in 1977; and Warner Cable, established in 1973.[6]

Warner Cable would eventually diversify into channels with the formation of Warner Cable Communications in 1977, creating test channels such as Pinwheel, Star Channel and even Sight on Sound; these would eventually be officially launched as Nickelodeon & The Movie Channel in 1979, and MTV in 1981 respectively. In 1979, American Express was brought in to form a joint-venture cable network and cable television firm called Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, and eventually Warner Cable was renamed to Warner-Amex Cable. WAC would eventually create the QUBE interactive service until it was shut down in 1984.

On June 25, 1984, it was announced that the channels would be spun off into a public-traded corporation known as MTV Networks Inc.; which was eventually purchased by Viacom International a year after.[7][8]

In December 1986, American Express sold its half ownership of Warner-Amex Cable back to Warner Communications; reverting the name to Warner Cable.[9]

In the late 1980s, Warner Communications, which was in financial trouble at the time, planned to merge with Time Inc; which would lead to ATC becoming a sibling to Warner Cable.[10] After a delay in the deal, Warner Communications officially merged with Time Inc. to create Time Warner in 1990; ATC & Warner Cable would eventually become part of a new division known as the Time Warner Cable Group. This was in large part because 18% of ATC was still owned by outside shareholders. Both divisions were merged into a single division of Time Warner Entertainment in 1992, following Time Warner Entertainment's buyout of the remainder of ATC; this was in part so it could in turn include the cable systems as part of a new limited partnership with Toshiba and C Itoh & Company, Time Warner Entertainment Company L.P., under which TWC, Warner Bros., and Home Box Office, Inc. were put into.[11][12]

In 1993, telephone company US West purchased a 25% in TWEC L.P., including Time Warner Cable; this was in part to finance a joint venture, eventually named TW Telecom, intended to build up a fiber-optic communication infrastructure, as well as provide additional cash for Time Warner to upgrade their cable systems. Another cited benefit was that TWC could market telephone service provided by US West alongside their cable television services[13][14][15][16]

In 1995, the company launched the Southern Tier On-Line Community in Elmira, New York, a cable modem service later known as Road Runner High Speed Online. That year, talks began that would later result in Warner's acquisition of Paragon Cable. Glenn Britt (1949–2014)[17][18] was the CEO from 2001 until December 2013.

Time Warner retained Time Warner Cable as a subsidiary until May 26, 2010, when it was spun off as an independent company.[19] Prior to the spin-out, Time Warner had held an 84% stake in Time Warner Cable.[20] Non-TW shareholders received 0.083670 shares for each share already owned. This move made Time Warner Cable the largest cable operator in the United States owned solely by a single class of shareholders (without supervoting stock).[21]

Time Warner Cable launched DVR service in the Houston area in 2004. (TWC's Houston-area cable systems are now owned by Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal.) When first launched, it used Scientific-Atlanta set-top boxes with DVR.[22]

In June 2009, Time Warner Cable unveiled a concept known as "TV Everywhere"—a means of allowing multi-platform access to live and on-demand content from television channels that is tied to a user's television subscription.[23][24]

Sale to Charter Communications and company closure

Main article: Attempted purchase of Time Warner Cable by Comcast

Time Warner Cable Spectrum logo used as a transition period from 2016 to 2017

It was first reported in October 2013 that Time Warner Cable was exploring a sale of the company, possibly to Charter Communications.[25] However, on November 22, 2013, reports surfaced that Comcast expressed interest in acquiring Time Warner Cable. Both companies were said to be placing bids for the company.[26] Charter reiterated its interest in purchasing Time Warner Cable and increased its bid on January 14, 2014. On February 12, 2014, it was reported that Comcast had reached a deal to acquire TWC in an overall deal valued at $45.2 billion, pending regulatory approval.[27]

The proposed merger was met with prominent opposition from various groups, showing concerns that the sheer size of the combined company would reduce competition and would give Comcast an unprecedented level of control over the United States' internet and television industries, increased leverage in the distribution of NBCUniversal content, hamper over-the-top services, and lead to higher prices for its services.[28][29][30][31] In April 2015, it was reported that the U.S. Department of Justice was preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against the companies in a bid to halt the merger, primarily because the merged company would have controlled 57 percent of the nation's broadband capacity. On April 24, 2015, Comcast officially announced that it had called off the merger.[32][33]

On May 25, 2015, Bloomberg News reported that Charter was "near" a deal to acquire TWC for $195 a share.[34] Charter had been involved in the Comcast/TWC merger, as the companies planned to divest around 4 million subscribers to Charter in order to reduce the combined company's market share to an acceptable level.[35] The next day, Charter officially announced its intent to acquire Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $78.7 billion, and confirmed that it would also continue with its proposed, $10.1 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks. The deal was subject to regulatory approval, although due to the relatively smaller size of the companies and their media holdings, the deal was expected to face less resistance than the Comcast/TWC merger.[36]

The acquisition was completed on May 18, 2016. In 2017, Charter stopped using the TWC and BHN branding and fully integrate the two services' subscribers into the Spectrum brand, which was originally debuted in 2014 to market Charter's services.[37][5][38]

Residential services

As of second quarter 2009, there were 14.6 million basic cable subscribers, 8.8 million Digital cable subscribers, 8.7 million Road Runner residential subscribers, 2.5 million DVR subscribers,[39] and 4.5 million residential Digital Phone subscribers, which makes it the fifth-largest landline phone provider in the United States.[40]

Business services

As of 2013, Time Warner Cable's business division had the second largest business-facing enterprise by revenue (of cable providers who offer business services), with $1.7 billion in revenue as of the third quarter of 2013. Total revenue for 2012 was $1.9 billion.[41]

Cable Internet service

Main article: Spectrum Internet

Prior to Time Warner Cable merging with Charter Communications, they offered a total of 5 tiers of internet speeds, which are listed below:

Prior Time Warner Cable internet charges/fees:

Time Warner Cable charged a modem lease fee what was $10/month and offered free WiFi with their service if requested in lieu of what Spectrum does today, what is giving the modem for free and charging $5/month for WiFi service. For Time Warner Cable, customers could purchase their own modem to alleviate that charge, along with today, Spectrum allows their customers to purchase their own router to alleviate the WiFi charge.[citation needed]

Naming rights

Spectrum Center, formerly Time Warner Cable Arena, is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, the home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. In April 2008, the then-Bobcats reached a naming rights deal with Time Warner Cable, the Charlotte area's major cable television provider; the arena was named for the cable provider in exchange for the release of the team's television rights, which had been on the TWC co-owned Carolinas Sports Entertainment Television for its first season, which failed to find much cable coverage in the Charlotte market outside of Time Warner Cable systems and went dark after a year, and then News 14 Carolina which was limited to only the North Carolina side of the market, until the arena naming rights deal was made. The team moved to the new Fox Sports South sub-feed Fox Sports Carolinas and SportSouth (now Fox Sports Southeast) with the 2008-09 season, allowing coverage through both the Carolinas.[42] Shortly after being acquired by Charter, the arena was renamed to Spectrum Center.[43]

On March 9, 2007, Time Warner Cable, which provided service to the northeastern Wisconsin area, signed a 10-year naming rights deal for the home field of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a minor league baseball team and affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, based in Grand Chute, a suburb of Appleton. The team and Time Warner Cable mutually agreed to end the rights deal after the 2013 season, and the venue is now known as Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, named for a local neurology practice.



On July 31, 2006, Time Warner Cable and Comcast completed a deal to purchase practically all of Adelphia's assets for $17 billion.[44] Time Warner Cable gained 3.3 million of Adelphia's subscribers, a 29 percent increase, while Comcast gained almost 1.7 million subscribers. Adelphia stockholders received 16% of Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable went public effective February 13, 2007, and the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on March 1, 2007.[45]

In addition to Adelphia's coverage being divided up, Time Warner Cable and Comcast also agreed to exchange some of their own subscribers in order to consolidate key regions. An example of this is the Los Angeles market, which was mostly covered by Comcast and Adelphia (and some areas of the region already served by TWC), is now under Time Warner Cable. Philadelphia had been split between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, with the majority of cable subscribers belonging to Comcast. Time Warner Cable subscribers in Philadelphia were swapped with Comcast in early 2007. Similarly, the Houston area, which was under Time Warner, was swapped to Comcast, while the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex was changed to Time Warner Cable (RR).[46] In the Twin Cities, Minneapolis was Time Warner Cable and Saint Paul was Comcast. That whole market is now Comcast.


Time Warner Cable purchased NaviSite (NAVI), a company providing cloud and hosting services, on February 1, 2011 for $230 million, roughly equating to $5.50 per share.[47]

Insight Communications

On August 13, 2011, Time Warner Cable announced its purchase of Insight Communications for $3 billion acquiring Insight's 760,000 subscribers nationwide. The merger was completed February 29, 2012, and as of June 2013 all of Insight Communications was absorbed into Time Warner Cable.[48]

DukeNet Communications

On October 7, 2013, Time Warner Cable announced that it has agreed to acquire DukeNet Communications LLC for $600 million. DukeNet provides data and high-capacity bandwidth services to wireless carrier, data center, government, and enterprise customers in the Southeast.[49]

Advance/Newhouse and Time Warner Entertainment (Bright House Networks spin off)

Some of the regional cable system clusters operated by Time Warner Cable were owned by the Time Warner Entertainment – Advance/Newhouse Partnership (TWEAN). In 2002, Advance/Newhouse Communications, unhappy with some of the operating policies of Time Warner Cable in the AOL Time Warner era, forced a restructuring of the TWEAN partnership such that Advance/Newhouse would actively manage and operate a portion of the jointly owned cable systems equal to their percentage of equity. Under this arrangement, Advance/Newhouse enjoys the proceeds of their actively managed systems rather than simply a percentage of the partnership's total earnings. The majority of the affected systems were in the Indianapolis, Tampa and Orlando markets under the Bright House Networks brand.

The transactions proposed by Charter were approved, TWC and Bright House Networks have been absorbed into Charter.[36]


Bandwidth metering

In Beaumont, Texas, during 2008, Time Warner Cable began testing tier-based metered data plans that effectively placed customers into a pricing hierarchy based on the amount of data that they used.[50] In 2009, Time Warner Cable announced that additional cities including Rochester, New York will become additional test sites. In particular in Rochester groups have formed to stop TWC. Several groups including Stop TWC[51] and Stop The Cap[52] are currently working to oppose these efforts. On April 7, 2009, then US Congressman Eric Massa called on TWC to eliminate its broadband Internet cap.[53] They chose to not make a deal with Cablevision, the Long Island telecommunications company, who are the owners of News 12 Long Island on July 7, 2009.

Signal intrusion and accidental transmission of pornography

On March 16, 2010, Time Warner Cable's transmission of their Kids on Demand and Kids Pre-School on Demand channels on systems in eastern North Carolina was interrupted by programming from the adult pay television channel Playboy TV for approximately two hours between 6:15 a.m. and 8:15 a.m./EDT, in which a group of nude women talked and posed in a sexually suggestive manner.[54] This accidental display affected Time Warner Cable's digital cable subscribers in four towns in the system's eastern North Carolina cluster, while other areas displayed a black screen. A Time Warner Cable spokesperson said in a statement to Raleigh CBS affiliate WRAL, "It was a technical malfunction that caused the wrong previews to be shown on our kids' on-demand channels. Unfortunately, it hit at the worst possible time on the worst possible channels."[55] A Time Warner Cable executive said normal monitoring procedures did not take effect because the glitch affected only a few areas.[56]

Cable clusters

Time Warner Cable logo used until 2010. The "Business Class" division continued to use this logo until the Charter acquisition.


Time Warner Cable's divisions, from official website:[citation needed]

West Region

Former logo for "Oceanic Time Warner Cable" division

East Region

Former divisions

Sold to Comcast

Divisions that became Bright House Networks


The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranked Time Warner Cable as one of the least liked companies in terms of customer satisfaction in 2011,[58] 2012,[59] 2013,[18][60] and 2014.[61]

See also


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