Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC to Merge | GMA Beats Today | Soledad, Google Team Up

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Time Warner Cable to Merge With Comcast Corporation (Comcast)
Comcast Corporation and Time Warner Cable Thursday announced that their Boards of Directors have approved a definitive agreement for Time Warner Cable to merge with Comcast. The agreement is a friendly, stock-for-stock transaction in which Comcast will acquire 100 percent of Time Warner Cable’s 284.9 million shares outstanding for shares of CMCSA amounting to approximately $45.2 billion in equity value. NYT / DealBook For Comcast, which completed its acquisition of NBC Universal, the television and movie powerhouse, from General Electric less than a year ago, the latest deal would be its second big act to radically reshape the media landscape in the United States. And the merger is almost certain to bring to an end a protracted takeover battle that Charter Communications has been waging for Time Warner Cable. CNNMoney The two companies expect the merger to receive government approval and take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers. Through the consolidation of Time Warner Cable, Comcast would be the dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections in roughly one in three American homes, a total unmatched by any other distributor. Re/code So here’s the big idea that’s supposed to get the deal approved in the coming months: It’s OK for a giant cable company to buy another giant cable company, because cable companies don’t compete. For instance: I live in Brooklyn, and I’m a Time Warner Cable customer. In theory, I could also get TV from the satellite guys, and also from Verizon. But I can’t get TV from Comcast, because the cable guys work in specific territories, carved out by local regulators, and they don’t overlap. GigaOM And when you start to peel the onion and start looking at their average monthly revenues of the combined companies, you start to see why the game is all about broadband. According to UBS estimates, the combined company could see its consumer data-only revenues go from $17 billion at end of 2013 to about $23 billion by end of 2018. Voice revenues go from about $6 billion at the end of 2013 to $6.6 billion at end of 2018.

GMA Beats Today Despite Sochi Olympics Broadcast (NY Post)
Bob Costas isn’t the only NBC face with red eyes. The peacock network’s Today show broadcast from Sochi got trounced by ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday. It is believed that it is the first time Today was beaten in the overall ratings during an Olympics. NBC has carried every summer and winter Olympics since 2000. TVNewser Compared to the same day during the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, GMA has slashed the gap with Today by 151 percent in total viewers and 122 percent in the demo. During the 2010 Games, Today — which at the time was the dominant morning show — made significant gains on GMA from Day 1 to Day 2 of the Olympics. Capital New York The chairman of NBC Sports, Mark Lazarus, remains adamant that timeshifting and subsequently cutting down the Sochi Olympic opening ceremonies was a good idea. “I continue to believe, having now been in the stadium to watch Opening Ceremonies and watching it on television, that historical, cultural context and relevance make it a more enjoyable and informative experience,” Lazarus told reporters in a conference call. Despite that, he says he expects the 2016 Opening Ceremony will air live in primetime, owing to it being in Brazil, just an hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

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