Comcast's planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable may be good news for sports fans, but maybe not so much for budget-conscious subscribers.
Comcast said Thursday that it plans to buy Time Warner Cable in an all-stock transaction for $45.2 billion, outbidding Charter Communications. (Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.)
The deal is expected to face scrutiny from regulators, but if approved would create the largest cable provider in the country, with more than 33 million subscribers.
Analysts say it's that customer block that creates some of the sharpest benefits—and downsides—for subscribers.
"Comcast has more leverage, because they're larger," said Mukul Krishna, Frost & Sullivan's digital media senior global director.
Customers would be much less likely to see service disruptions, such as Time Warner Cable's month-long CBS blackout in August 2013, over contracts detailing how much the cable company paid to carry network content. Football fans had campaigned aggressively for an end to the blackout ahead of the start to the NFL season.