Altice to Buy Cablevision Systems Corp.

Cablevision reportedly has agreed to sell itself to Altice, the French communications and cable firm that already owns Suddenlink Communications, the seventh-largest U.S. triple play provider.

Were the deal to pass regulatory muster, Altice would become one of the largest U.S. communication providers. Cablevision has about 2.6 million customers while Suddenlink has about 1.1 million, for a total of some 7.7 million subscribers. That would make Altice the third-largest U.S. triple play provider.

The proposed deal values Cablevision at $17.7 billion, and would be a larger transaction than the $9 billion paid to acquire Suddenlink Communications.

Many of us long had thought Cablevision would be purcased by Time Warner or Comcast. The Altice move is big and bold. Some think Altice will face regulatory opposition. That seems to me unlikely. T-Mobile US and Sprint both are largely owned by international entities.

U.S. Triple Play Providers
Companies
Subscribers at
End of 2Q 2015
Net Adds in
2Q 2015
Comcast
22,306,000
(69,000)
Time Warner Cable
10,982,000
(43,000)
Charter
4,258,000
(30,000)
Cablevision
2,637,000
(16,000)
Suddenlink
1,102,600
(29,400)
Mediacom
879,000
(12,000)
Cable ONE
399,878
(21,455)
Other major private companies*
6,395,000
(40,000)
Total Top Cable
48,959,478
(260,855)
Satellite TV Companies (DBS)


DirecTV
20,279,000
(133,000)
DISH^
13,932,000
(81,000)
Total Top DBS
34,211,000
(214,000)
Telephone Companies


AT&T U-verse
5,971,000
(22,000)
Verizon FiOS
5,765,000
26,000
Total Top Phone
11,736,000
4,000
Total Top Pay-TV Providers
94,906,478
(470,855)
source: Leichtman Research
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