Originally controlled by Warner Communications, later Time Warner (the film and television production company and cable channel operator), that company spun off the cable operations in March 2009 as part of a larger restructuring. Since then, Time Warner Cable has been an entirely independent company, merely continuing to use the Time Warner brand under license from its former parent (it also previously used the "Road Runner" name for its internet service).
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 and 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. Charter expected to complete the former transaction by the end of 2015.
Time Warner Cable was formed in 1992 through the merger of Time Inc.'s cable television company, American Television and Communications Corp. (service areas previously belonging to that company went under the Time Warner Communications name; since the 1990s, areas that previously had that name have either been renamed to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, or have been given to other cable providers), and Warner Cable, a division of Warner Communications, as a result of a merger to form Time Warner; for the two years after the initial merger, both companies operated separately but under the umbrella name "Time Warner Cable Group"; they formally merged into one entity in 1992. It also includes the remnants of the defunct QUBE interactive TV service. In 1995, the company launched the Southern Tier On-Line Community, a cable modem service later known as Road Runner High Speed Online. That same year, talks began that would later result in Warner's acquisition of Paragon Cable. Glenn Britt (1949–2014) was the CEO from 2001 until December 2013.
Time Warner retained Time Warner Cable as a subsidiary until March 2009, when it was spun out as an independent company. Prior to the spin-out, Time Warner had held an 84% stake in Time Warner Cable. Non-Time Warner 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).
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 to content from television channels that is tied to a user's television subscription.
It was first reported in September 2013 that Time Warner Cable was exploring a sale of the company, possibly to Charter Communications. 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. 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.
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. 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.
On May 25, 2015, Bloomberg News reported that Charter was "near" a deal to acquire TWC for $195 a share. Charter had been previously 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. 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 is subject to regulatory approval, although due to the relatively smaller size of the companies and their media holdings, the deal is expected to face less resistance than the Comcast/TWC merger.
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, and 4.5 million residential Digital Phone subscribers, which makes it the fifth-largest landline phone provider in the United States.
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.
As of 2014, Time Warner Cable's broadband service was available to over 66.9 million people across 29 states, making it the 2nd largest provider of cable broadband in the US (Based on coverage area).
On July 31, 2006, Time Warner Cable and Comcast completed a deal to purchase practically all of Adelphia's assets for $17 billion. 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.
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, previously was split between Time Warner and Comcast, with the majority of cable subscribers belonging to Comcast. Time Warner 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 metro area was changed to Time Warner (RR). In the Twin Cities, Minneapolis was Time Warner and Saint Paul was Comcast. That whole market is now Comcast.
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.
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.
Advance/Newhouse and Time Warner (Bright House Networks spin off)
Some of the regional cable system clusters operated by Time Warner Cable are 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 are in the Tampa and Orlando markets under the Bright House Networks brand.
The value of this deal is that it allows Advance/Newhouse to more directly control their cable investments without having to completely unravel the TWEAN partnership, which does bring some benefits via Time Warner's development and purchasing clout.
If the transactions proposed by Charter are approved, TWC and Bright House Networks will be fully reunited under Charter ownership.
In late 2005, TWC and several other cable companies formed a venture with Sprint Nextel. This joint venture enables TWC customers to receive a full suite of products, linking in-home and out-of-home entertainment, information, and communications services. All of this was included in the new "Triple Play on the Go", similar to the Triple Play[discuss] but an addition of new services through Sprint Nextel.
In 2008, Time Warner Cable began testing tier-based metered data plans[clarification needed] in Beaumont, Texas. 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 and Stop The Cap are currently working to oppose these efforts. On April 7, 2009, then US Congressman Eric Massa called on Time Warner to eliminate its broadband Internet cap.
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. This accidental display affected Time Warner'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 spokesperson said in a statement to RaleighCBS 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." A Time Warner executive said normal monitoring procedures did not take effect because the glitch affected only a few areas.