Charter Communications' acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Advance/Newhouse Bright House Networks may be more just than a play to make it the second-largest cable company. If the deal is approved, Charter Communications said the three together will have 19.4 million broadband customers, including 18.8 million residential clients.
Those valuable Internet services would especially be appealing for millennials and their younger Gen Z counterparts. A 2014 study by Defy Media, HunterQualitative Research and KnoWhy Research found that 13- to 24-year-olds were watching an average of 22 hours of programming a week on free and subscriber-based digital platforms such as YouTube and Netflix but only 8.3 of scheduled linear TV content.
"A lot of these guys (telecommunications companies) are coming together because they want to best figure out how to create a package of services to do what younger consumers want and also to figure out what to do with channels people don't necessarily find utilization from," Defy Media President Keith Richman explained.
Cable network Pivot TV reported in 2013 that 13 percent of broadband customers between 13 and 34 solely subscribe to broadband services.
Charter announced on Tuesday that it plans acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for $55 billion and $10.4 billion respectively. The potential juggernaut will become the second-largest broadband provider in the country, according to the company, servicing just shy of 30 percent of U.S. customers according to the Federal Trade Commission's minimum definition of service at 25 megabits per second (Mbps). However, it is still dwarfed by Comcast's share, which makes up 56 percent of the U.S. market.