If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approves the merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications, consolidating the number-two and number-three U.S. cable operators, the U.S. cable TV industry will assume a market structure that closely mirrors that of the U.S. fixed network telecom industry.
That is to say, there will be a huge gap between the top-two providers, in each industry segment, and the rest of the providers.
The U.S. cable TV industry would be lead by Comcast, at more than 22 million accounts, followed by Charter-Time Warner with more than 16 million accounts.
Number three Cablevision Systems has nearly 2.6 million accounts. All the other providers have less than one million accounts each.
In the “former telco” fixed network segment, AT&T and then Verizon have about 66 percent of all accounts. Number three CenturyLink might have less than five percent of accounts, and all the others are smaller than that.
In other words, both cable TV and telco segments are lead by just two firms. In the cable TV segment, just two firms will control 77 percent of the accounts; in the telco segment just two firms will control 66 percent of accounts.
In other words, the cable TV segment will be even more concentrated than the telco segment.