Charter Communications

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Charter Communications, Inc.
TypePublic
Traded asNASDAQCHTR
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded1993
HeadquartersStamford, Connecticut, USA
Key peopleEric L. Zinterhofer (Chairman)
Thomas M. Rutledge (President & CEO)
ProductsCable television
HDTV
Digital telephone
Broadband
RevenueUS$7.20 billion (2011)[1]
Operating incomeIncreaseUS$895 million (2011)[1]
Net incomeDecreaseUS$-369 million (2011)[1]
Total assetsIncreaseUS$15.605 billion (2011)[1]
Total equityIncreaseUS$409 million (2011)[1]
Employees21,000
Websitecharter.com
 
  (Redirected from Charter Cable)
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Charter Communications, Inc.
TypePublic
Traded asNASDAQCHTR
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded1993
HeadquartersStamford, Connecticut, USA
Key peopleEric L. Zinterhofer (Chairman)
Thomas M. Rutledge (President & CEO)
ProductsCable television
HDTV
Digital telephone
Broadband
RevenueUS$7.20 billion (2011)[1]
Operating incomeIncreaseUS$895 million (2011)[1]
Net incomeDecreaseUS$-369 million (2011)[1]
Total assetsIncreaseUS$15.605 billion (2011)[1]
Total equityIncreaseUS$409 million (2011)[1]
Employees21,000
Websitecharter.com
Charter Telephone service van

Charter Communications is an American company providing cable television, high-speed Internet, and telephone services to more than 6.8 million customers in 29 states. By revenues, it is the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, behind Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Communications,[2] and by residential subscriber lines it is the tenth largest telephone provider.[3] In late 2012, the company announced plans to relocate its headquarters from St. Louis, Missouri, to Stamford, Connecticut.[4]

History[edit]

Charter Communications was incorporated in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1993. Through a series of acquisitions, as well as internally financed growth, the company served 1 million customers in 1998, 3.9 million in 1999, and 6.8 million in 2002.

Four former executives received criminal indictments in 2005 for accounting fraud, related primarily to the inflation of cable subscriber numbers. The company has been under financial pressure; its stock peaked at $27.75 per share in November 1999, before falling to under $1 in 2002.[5] On September 14, 2010, Charter Class A common stock was relisted on NASDAQ under the symbol "CHTR",[6] and as of December 1, 2010, the 52 Wk High/ Low is $39.99/$29.10.[7]

In 2006, Charter accelerated sales of cable telephone services using Broadband Telephony technology.[citation needed]

On March 28, 2009, Charter Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; it emerged from bankruptcy, November 30, 2009.[8]

Call centers[edit]

On May 2, 2006, Charter announced it would restructure seven of its call centers in the United States in the following locations:

Orders completed online or through retail partners with Charter Communication are directed to a call center located in Tempe, Arizona, operated by Teletech (Direct Alliance). This call center has inbound/outbound sales agents, as well as online chat agents. Outsourced call centers were implemented in 2006 and are located in Canada and the Philippines.

Charter-owned call centers are located in St. Louis, Missouri (telephone service support center); Greenville, South Carolina; Vancouver, Washington; Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Walker, Michigan; Rochester, Minnesota; Worcester, Massachusetts, and Louisville, Kentucky, (the largest call center across the company), with Heathrow, Florida, handling the bulk of video, high-speed data, and telephone billing and customer service contacts. Each of the remaining centers is becoming increasingly specialized for particular lines of service or customer issues.

Acquisitions and divestitures[edit]

November 1999: Charter went public after more than ten major acquisitions in one year:.[9]

Charter also began swapping customers with other systems to improve the geographic clustering of its systems. In December 1999 it signed a letter of intent with AT&T Corporation to swap 1.3 million cable subscribers in St. Louis as well as in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri.[9]

On March 22, 2006, Charter announced that it would sell cable systems serving approximately 43,000 customers in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah to Orange Broadband Holding Company (since renamed Baja Broadband).[10]

Charter also sold cable systems in West Virginia and Virginia to Cebridge Connections (now known as Suddenlink Communications) and cable systems in Kentucky and Illinois to New Wave Communications.[11]

On October 14, 2008, an article appeared in the Fairmont Sentinel, of Fairmont, Minnesota, reporting that Charter is selling parts of their system to Midcontinent Communications, including Charter's offices in Bemidji and International Falls, Minnesota. Starting February 1, 2009, Midcontinent Communications took over some Charter's cable system in Minnesota including Balaton, Bemidji, Canby, Ely, Fairmont, International Falls, Littlefork, Sherburn, and surrounding communities. Other areas in Minnesota would have sold to Comcast, but the deal fell through.[12]

On October 22, 2010, announced completion of the sale of cable systems serving approximately 65,000 customers in seven states to Cobridge Communications, LLC. The 36 head ends acquired by Cobridge are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas. As a result of this sale, Charter no longer operates in Arkansas and Ohio.[13]

On February 8, 2013, announced an agreement to acquire former Bresnan Communications systems in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, from Cablevision in a transaction worth US$1.63 billion.[14]

Bankruptcy[edit]

On February 12, 2009, Charter Communications announced that it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on or before April 1, 2009. The action would allow Charter to pay its debt obligations, and cancel its obligations to shareholders.[15] Private equity firm Apollo Management expected to own most of Charter's shares after the bankruptcy.[16] Charter filed for a prearranged bankruptcy on March 28, 2009. The company expects the financial restructuring to reduce its debt by $8 billion, as well as adding $3 billion of new investment, and refinancing other debt. On November 30, 2009, its bankruptcy plan was approved, which extinguished its stock and cut approximately $8 billion in debt.[17] That day, Charter emerged from bankruptcy despite many of its creditors' objections over its bankruptcy plan.[18]

Awards and recognition[edit]

PCWorld in 2011 awarded Charter with several "fastest ISP"-type awards. Charter has recently upgraded its internet speed tiers and gave most of its customers a free upgrade in speed, not once but twice during the 2011 business year.[19]

In 2009 Charter won a CableFax TopOps award for its Day of Service, a.k.a. DOS, team that answers calls from customers on the day that a technician is scheduled to arrive at their home. DOS team members are highly trained agents that answer questions about services and ensure that the customer has the best possible experience with their service technician.[20]

In December 2007, Charter was recognized by CableWorld Magazine as "2007 Multi-System Operator of the Year". According to the magazine, the company was selected for this award based on "rapidly expanding its telephone footprint to take advantage of the triple-play offering; developing a consistent, data-driven marketing plan; and addressing its nearest-term debt maturities".[21] During the spring of 2008, Charter was honored with third place among companies with over 2,000 employees in the annual "Best Places to Work in St. Louis" competition, sponsored by the St. Louis Business Journal., based on the response of Charter employees in the area to an online survey created and managed by the Journal.[22]

Criticism[edit]

In 2007, PCWorld ranked Charter's cable Internet service as worst among 14 major Internet service providers.[23] In addition, Charter High-Speed is rated 19th out of 22 cable ISPs on dslreports.com,[24] and Consumer Reports indicated in their February 2008 issue that Charter's television/Internet/telephone bundle collectively is the worst of all major national carriers.[25][26] Charter Communications has shown an improvement in its services over the years. Charter was ranked one of the top performers in PC Magazine's "Fastest ISPs in the Nation".[27]

It was reported by Tony Bradle on about.com that Charter Communications redirected error pages and Windows Live Search results to a Charter search page without notifying customers. Users may opt out of redirection by clicking a link from the Charter search page; however, the opt-out link installs a cookie on the customer's computer, so deleting cookies will require the user to opt out again.[28]

It was reported that on Monday, January 21, 2008, during a routine sweep of inactive accounts, Charter accidentally deleted the email accounts of approximately 14,000 customers; even worse, the removed data are now irretrievable. The company since decided to give a $150 account credit to each user affected.[29][30] In May 2008, Charter announced that it planned to monitor websites visited by its high-speed Internet customers via a partnership with targeted advertising firm NebuAd.[31][32] After customers voiced their concerns, Charter changed its mind in June.[33]

Coverage[edit]

August 2008, Charter Communications announced an agreement to carry the Big Ten Network, applicable to all customers.[34]

In December 2008, WFAA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Dallas–Fort Worth, reported that beginning January 1, 2009, Charter would no longer carry its signal due to a breakdown in negotiations. Charter quickly replied that a resolution to the issue was not out of the question.[35]

In December 2008, WCNC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina, reported that as of December 31, 2008, Charter would no longer carry its signal due to a breakdown in negotiations.[36] In December 2008, KMOV-TV Channel 4, the CBS affiliate in Saint Louis, Missouri, reported that it would no longer be available to Charter subscribers starting December 31.[37] Prior to that, only the standard definition signal for KMOV was available on Charter cable.

The cable operator would have lost access to all of the stations owned by Belo Corporation. However, an agreement was reached days before the shutdown date.[38]

In May 2009, Comcast was able to meet an agreement with NFL Network, in which the NFL Network agreed to lower their asking price per subscriber. The higher asking price has been a problem with being carried with other cable networks. Roger Goodell is looking at resolving differences with other cable providers, to include Charter Communications, to allow carriage of this channel.[39]

On August 2011, Charter Communications and NFL Network announced that they had reached a new long-term agreement to carry the NFL Network in time for the 2011 season.[40][41]

Charter company timeline[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "2007 Annual Report". Retrieved 2009-02-14. , library.corporate-ir.net
  2. ^ NCTA Top 25 MSO's, ncta.com
  3. ^ Leichtman Research Group, "Research Notes," First Quarter 2012, pg. 6, Charter (#10) with 1,791,300 residential phone lines.
  4. ^ "Gov. Malloy: Charter Communications Moving Corporate Headquarters To Stamford « CBS New York". Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Charter Communications executives sentenced in accounting schemes — 04/23/05, detnews.com
  6. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Charter-Communications-Lists-prnews-4115798545.html?x=0
  7. ^ http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/CHTR/historical
  8. ^ "UPDATE 1-Charter Communications emerges from bankruptcy". Reuters. November 30, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Charter-Communications-Inc-Company-History.html
  10. ^ "Charter Communications Announces Agreement to Sell Systems Serving Approximately 43,700 Customers; Subsidiaries of Orange Broadband Holding Company, LLC to Purchase Charter Assets" (Press release). Charter Communications. 2006-03-22. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  11. ^ Saint Louis - Business and Technology News
  12. ^ Midcontinent Communications, midcocomm.com
  13. ^ http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=112298&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1486159&highlight=
  14. ^ "Charter to Buy Optimum West for $1.63 Bllion". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. 2013-02-08. Retrieved 2013-02-08. 
  15. ^ Bloomberg.com
  16. ^ Reuters, 19 March 2009, Apollo plans to own most of Charter after bankruptcy: sources
  17. ^ "Charter Communications Completes Financial Restructuring and Emerges From Chapter 11" (Press release). Charter Communications. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-12-01. , corporate-ir.net
  18. ^ Bode, Karl (2009-11-30). "Charter Exits Chapter 11". BroadbandReports.com. Retrieved 2009-12-01. , dslreports.com
  19. ^ Charter sweeps PC Magazine's Fastest ISP awards, pcmag.com
  20. ^ cablefax.com
  21. ^ 2007 MSO of the Year: Charter—Back From the Brink: Cable Fax Magazine, cable360.net
  22. ^ 19 St. Louis companies named "Best Places to Work" — St. Louis Business Journal, bizjournals.com
  23. ^ [1], pcworld.com
  24. ^ DSLreports.com
  25. ^ Former Charter Channel Line up on the Midco Website, midcocomm.com
  26. ^ Channel Line up on the Midco cable system in east central North Dakota, midcocomm.com
  27. ^ PC Magazine - The Fastest ISPs in the Nation, isp-planet.com
  28. ^ Netsecurity.about.com
  29. ^ MSN.com
  30. ^ Bizjournals.com
  31. ^ New York Times, nytimes.com
  32. ^ The Inquirer, theinquirer.net
  33. ^ The Associated Press (June 25, 2008). "Charter Won’t Track Customers' Web Use". via The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-06-29. , nytimes.com
  34. ^ [2]
  35. ^ Star Telegram, star-telegram.com
  36. ^ WCNC-TV, wcnc.com
  37. ^ Louis Today, stltoday.com
  38. ^ Multichannel.com
  39. ^ Espn.go.com
  40. ^ [3]
  41. ^ [4]
  42. ^ American City Business Journals, Inc., bizjournals.com
  43. ^ Charter Communications News Release
  44. ^ [5] Charter/Tivo deal
  45. ^ Hibbard, Matthew (9 August 2012). "Charter prices $1.25 billion senior debt offering". Telecom Industry Updates. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 

External links[edit]