Comcast got a big victory today with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals tossing out the FCC’s cable ownership cap of 30%. The 30% cap barred cable companies from serving over 30% of multichannel video programming subscribers nationwide. Comcast is the only cable company approaching that threshold. The court said the cap was unconstitutional, thus freeing Comcast (and others) to do more cable company acquisition.
While Comcast is tight lipped about any potential acquisitions, suitable targets may include Cablevision, or perhaps Cox. Should they move in that direction, I suspect we’d see Time Warner Cable make some moves of their own to keep pace, leading to a possible consolidation wave in the industry.
Why consolidate? One factor may be large cable companies wanting to grow and approach the scale of their large telco competitors. For example, Comcast has a market cap of about $32 billion. Compare that with AT&T’s $154 billion and Verizon’s $87 billion.