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Charter Is Having a Rough Week Thanks to Merger Pains

News and Analysis
Charter Communications has been a magnet for bad news the last seven days due in part to the cable op’s continued difficulty in formulating a new company following its 2016 merger with Time Warner Cable.

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Today, Charter reported that it lost 100,000 residential video subscribers in the first quarter, mostly due to defections from former Time Warner Cable customers.

The losses were greater than expected, according to Wall Street analysts, and the fact that original Charter systems are now posting subscriber gains must sting in some company offices.

The disappointing first quarter statement would be enough to send Charter executives fleeing to an early Happy Hour today, but it’s only the latest in a series of negative reports.


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Charter has been peppered with consumer complaints since April 25 when it officially removed the Chiller channel from its lineup. Although the cable operator had previously posted notices that the horror network would be removed, many Chiller fans didn’t get the memo and were horrified when their screens went dark in the middle of a movie.

You can see some of their reactions here in our message forum.

“I enjoy watching chiller network and spectrum dropped in the middle of a movie on 4/25/17. I am going to drop spectrum. They are also going probably drop some other channels, except those crappy shopping channels,” said one angry subscriber on April 25.

Then, the Lexington Herald-Leader and several other newspapers last week published articles that Charter had moved some channels to a higher tier, causing former Time Warner Cable subscribers to either pay for a more expensive package or lose the channels.

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Wrote the Herald-Leader:

” ‘I thought, ‘What the hell? I just paid the cable bill,’” Daniel Fitzgerald recalled last week in the tiny Lexington apartment he shares with his disabled 16-year-old son.’

When you’re publicly angering people with disabled sons in tiny apartments, you’re not having a good week.

And Charter is not having a good week.


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— Phillip Swann