Cable giant Comcast Corp. may be eyeing Time Warner Cable's New York systems so it can create its own version of Amtrak's Acela, the super fast train that takes commuters up and down the East Coast, according to a new report from Moffett/Nathanson Research.
It's no secret that Charter Communications is preparing a bid for Time Warner Cable, which has about 12 million subscribers around the country, including big operations in New York and Los Angeles.
But Comcast has some interest in Time Warner Cable as well and New York City is probably why. It already has systems in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Adding New York could present unique opportunities for its business offerings, writes Craig Moffett.
Serving businesses is considered to be one of the big growth areas for cable, particularly offering high speed data, IT security and storage at a time when the video side is seeing growth slow as competition increases.
"Until now, cable operators have targeted mostly small and medium sized businesses. Think of it as cable modems for dry cleaners and florists. The enterprise market has mostly been a bridge too far, requiring multi-location coordination that has eluded the geographically balkanized cable industry," said Moffett.
If Comcast were able to acquire Time Warner Cable's New York City turf, the company would have "a continuous footprint from Boston to Washington, with a facilities-based presence in Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, and dozens of other major business centers," Moffett added.
A Charter bid on Time Warner Cable could come in the very near future. Less clear is whether it would be willing to part with New York City in a side deal with Comcast or if Comcast would make its own offer.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.