Adelphia Sale On Road to Approval

The purchase of Adelphia’s cable TV assets by Time Warner and Comcast has cleared a big hurdle, as the Federal Trade Commission has approved the move. The only step left on the federal level is at the Federal Communications Commission, which is widely expected to approve the transaction.

After that happens, and when all the local approvals are in order, the companies expect to finish it up by “late second quarter” this year…somewhere by June or so.

Locally, Adelphia’s Cleveland-based system will land in the hands of Time Warner, which currently operates in much of Northeast Ohio south of Cleveland. The company will take control of not only that system, but the Comcast system in the Cleveland suburbs, and easily become the dominant cable provider in this area. TWC’s primary local facility is now in Stark County’s Jackson Township, though it has offices elsewhere.

And yes, there’s still another unanswered question…the status of the new Cleveland Indians TV network, which will be seen on Time Warner and whatever other cable and satellite providers the team manages to sign up in the next month or so. (Remember, they plan to air Spring Training games!) Of course, games airing on WKYC/3 and its digital/HDTV channel will be available.

But, we still have no indication that the cable/satellite-only Indians games will air on Adelphia or Comcast before the merger is completed, which we believe is a crucial item to work out. A very simple short term agreement could be worked out, where Adelphia or Comcast could air the games on a local access channel until they no longer exist as separate entities.

Frankly, this should have been done at the same time as the network’s announcement, and someone at Jacobs Field dropped the ball (high fly ball caught in the sun?) by not doing so. The Adelphia and Comcast systems make up the bulk of the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County cable base, and it’d be stupid for a technicality to deprive this viewer base because the systems are not yet run by Time Warner. Say you’re going to do it, and work out the financials later, since neither system will be a separate entity past June or so.

We’re aware that Time Warner agrees that this should be done, but they’ve told OMW they have no control over what Adelphia or Comcast does until the merger is complete. They’re actually not allowed to have any control, due to numerous federal regulations.

And yes, OMW’s World Headquarters are in Adelphia’s territory in Summit County.

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