One of the leading cable operators in the country, Charter Communications, feels that they don’t need to own a content company straightaway. The Liberty Broadband of John Malone owns a big stake in the major telecom company. However, during a recent conference, Tom Rutledge, the Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, said that the company is planning to integrate Netflix into their set-top boxes in the near future.
When asked whether the company need to own a content company so that they won’t be at a disadvantage when compared to AT&T and Comcast, he said, “I don’t think so right now.” AT&T recently revealed their plans to acquire Time Warner for an estimated budget of $85.4 billion, while Comcast Corporation currently owns NBCUniversal. However, Rutledge added that, “We are a connection company at the moment, and I like that place.”
Rutledge also said that there was a “a great runway for years to come” and “a lot of opportunity” with the present business model of offering pay TV services and connectivity even without the need to own a content company. He said, “You have to stay true to the content business” while operating in both distribution and content.
Charter CEO also explained that the distribution footprint is constantly smaller when compared to the programming footprint. He continued, “[otherwise] you can destroy a lot of value.” Rutledge further added that the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner will not change that.
On the other hand, when asked about the potential talks to integrate Netflix into their set top boxes, he said, “I expect that to happen.” He added that the deal might happen in the near future, as they are in talks with the steaming service platform owners currently. Netflix, one of the popular streaming services in the country, already has an integration deal with Malone’s Latin American and European pay TV giant Liberty Global and with Comcast Corporations.
Charter had earlier acquired two major companies, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, for $55 billion and $10.4 billion, respectively. The acquisition of these major companies allowed Charter Communications to become the second largest cable company in the United States. Comcast currently holds the first position.
In addition to that, the new initiative from Charter, named as Charter Spectrum, was launched by the company a few weeks ago has shown great promise and it’s becoming widely popular among customers.