Comcast to bring X1 service to Los Angeles, New York after merger

May 05, 2014 - 12:34:56 am

Los Angeles: Within a year after its $45bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc closes, Comcast Corp aims to make its advanced X1 cable service available in areas such as New York and Los Angeles and other markets where it will gain a commanding new presence.

“We’ll be within the first markets in a year,” Neil Smit, president and chief executive of Comcast’s cable unit, said.

The new technology would “bring considerably higher Internet speeds to Time Warner Cable customers” in those cities, Smit said, and give them access to such X1 services as Internet applications, viewing recommendations and voice control.

Features offered by the cloud-connected X1 cable box system could help Comcast pick up subscribers in major cities where Time Warner Cable’s growth has stalled in recent years. Gaining entry to the New York and Los Angeles markets was part of the strategic rationale behind Comcast’s offer to buy TWC.

In Los Angeles, satellite operators have emerged as big providers of pay television services, while in New York, Verizon’s video services has taken significant market share. Time Warner Cable’s advanced cable boxes should be capable of running Comcast’s X1 system, Smit said at a cable industry show in Los Angeles, making the transition easier.

Comcast is waiting for regulatory approval of the deal. It announced last week it would divest 3.9 million subscribers to Charter, a complicated deal under which Comcast will trade some of its cable systems to Charter. The TWC and Charter deals would leave Comcast a strong presence on both the East and West coasts and Texas. Reuters