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Robert Trigaux

Among national TV providers, Bright House, Verizon still minnows



Cablettvproviderstop10WSJgraphic9.09Wake up and good morning. Thought you'd like to see who are the big fish and minnows in this country when it comes to who provides TV access to U.S. households. The graphic, from the Wall Street Journal, shows that while Bright House Networks (sorry, company's site is down this morning, will link later) and Verizon wage big, competitive battles for Tampa Bay area cable TV viewership, they are small fry players on the national scene dominated by Comcast, DirectTV, Dish and Time Warner Cable.

Here is the complete Wall Street Journal story. Its theme: Cable companies are still losing market share to satellite and phone rivals and, therefore, may need to need to consolidate further in the next couple of years. The story speculates, for example, that if AT&T buys DirecTV, then Verizon could respond by acquiring Dish. Those moves would catapult AT&T and Verizon to No. 2 and No. 3 in the industry.

For now, Verizon boasts 2.5 million TV subscribers while Bright House is right behind at 2.3 million. Combined, they are still smaller than the Charter and Cox cable providers. Verizon, of course, is a relatively new player in providing TV access via is FiOs fiber optic system.

Why all the talk of big acquisitions and consolidation? Because a federal appeals court ruled on Aug. 28 in favor of Comcast's and the cable industry's request to eliminate ownership limits. No longer is any one company restricted to reaching 30 percent of TV subscribers.That could put deep-pocket players like Comcast, and perhaps giant Verizon, on the acquisition prowl.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:26am]


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