Cable Companies Come, Cable Companies Go

News reports state that Comcast plans to buy Time Warner Cable. If the deal goes through, the new, combined company would control about 75 percent of the cable television market in the United States.

IMG_1771I should care about this, I guess, because Time Warner Cable is our cable provider. I had to check to confirm that, because our cable provider was a company called Insight Communications. I know this because our remote control has the Insight name on it. But sometime in 2012, Time Warner bought Insight Communications, and the contract with the Webner household went along with it. I’m pretty sure that we’ve had other cable providers, too, before Insight.

When these corporate acquisitions occur, companies typically run TV commercials that say something like “Slackjaw Communications is now Birdseed One!” The ads have to use an exclamation point, because otherwise viewers might just shrug their shoulders and miss the point that this is tremendously exciting, groundbreaking news. Usually the ads also promise that we’ll be amazed by the change and the news services we’ll receive. Then months pass, nothing changes, and we’ve still got the same old remote control unit we had under the old company.

If the Comcast purchase of Time Warner Cable goes through, we’ll see a new set of those exclamation point ads. For us, though, cable service is almost like a utility. Whether it’s Comcast or Time Warner Cable or Insight Communications or Birdseed One, we just want to have our high-speed internet without interruption and make sure that HBO and basic cable are available on our TV set. I’ll start caring about the name of the company that supplies these basic services if they start screwing up.

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