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Time Warner Buys Insight

Time Warner Cable has completed its acquisition of Insight Communications.

The $3 billion deal moves Insight’s 760,000 customers in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio into Time Warner’s service. A press release from Time Warner says the company’s name will soon begin appearing on buildings, uniforms and mailings to customers.

More information is coming soon.

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Local News Politics

CIty Hopes to Sign New Contract With Insight Before Time Warner Sale

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office hopes to sign a new contract with Insight Communications before the company is purchased by Time Warner Cable.

The three billion dollar sale won approval from the FCC last week and could close at any time. But Insight is still in talks over its contract to operate in Louisville. The talks have gone on for over a year, but stalled over whether Insight should be required to keep its call center in Louisville and provide free service to government buildings.

Insight is currently operating on the terms of its previous contract. Time Warner would inherit all of Insight’s contracts and operations after the sale.

“I think it’d be premature to talk about what could happen. But we’re pretty close to a deal. Both sides have been working in due diligence and I think we’ll have a deal before the sale closes,” says mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter.

Poynter says the city is not concerned that negotiations would be more difficult with the much larger Time Warner than they are with Insight.

“[Insight is] the one we’ve been dealing with,” he says. “We have this relationship with them. Time Warner would be a whole new ballgame so to speak. Insight doesn’t want that either. They need this wrapped up before the sale takes place as well.”

Time Warner previously requested a temporary contract extension so the new owners could work on a renewal with the city.

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FCC Approves Insight Sale, Time Warner Purchase Could Close Soon

The Federal Communications Commission has approved Time Warner Cable’s purchase of Insight Communications.

In an order issued this week, the FCC declared that the potential benefits to service under the sale outweigh any possible public harm. The three billion dollar deal has already earned approval from the Federal Trade Commission, and an Insight spokesman says this puts the sale on track to close soon.

Even with the federal permissions, Insight’s exact status with Louisville Metro Government remains unclear. Insight and the mayor’s office have been negotiating a new contract for over a year. The city wants Insight to keep its call center in Louisville, preserve free service for government buildings and continue giving free cable boxes to elderly and disabled customers. Neither side is sharing details, but they say there’s progress. Insight officials won’t say whether they’ll go through with the deal without a contract with the city.

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Insight Service, Negotiations to Continue

Talks are progressing between Louisville Metro Government and Insight Communications.

The two parties have been negotiating all year over a new contract that governs Insight’s operations. The city wants the cable provider to continue to giving free service to schools and government buildings, to continue giving free cable boxes to elderly and disabled customers and to keep its call center in Louisville.

Mayor Greg Fischer threatened to end Insight’s already-expired contracts with the old city and county this month if a deal wasn’t reached. That won’t affect service, though. Insight will continue serving Louisville customers and has sought to extend the current contract until the company is purchased by Time Warner.

A spokesman for Insight says the talks with the city have been meaningful.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Insight Rebukes City’s Attempt to Cancel Contract

Insight Communications says Metro Government has overreached in its threat to end the cable provider’s contract with the city.

Insight’s franchise agreement expired last year, but the provisions have remained in effect as the mayor’s office has negotiated a new contract. After months of negotiations with no agreement, the mayor’s office announced last week it would end Insight’s contract next month and seek a new cable operator.

In a letter, Insight says federal law does not give the city the right to cancel the contract, even if it’s expired. Insight reads the law to say the city music conduct formal proceedings and put together a public needs assessment. All talks with the company have been informal. Time Warner is in the process of buying Insight. In another letter, the company has asked the mayor’s office to renew the franchise until Insight is sold, then extend the contract for six months after the sale. During that time, the city could negotiate with Time Warner.

The County Attorney’s office is reviewing the letter, but contends the city can cancel the expired contract if proper notice is filed. Neither Insight nor the mayor’s office expects the standoff to affect service for cable customers.

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Cable Service Could Change After Insight Sale

One month after an unsuccessful attempt to sell itself at auction, Insight Communications has a buyer. Time Warner Cable has agreed to purchase Insight for $3 billion.

The deal will give Time Warner increased access to the Midwest by allowing them to absorb 750,000 customers in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. It will create some redundancies for employees and Time Warner hopes to cut costs further after closing the deal.

“It’s really premature to talk about any of that,” says Time Warner spokesman Alex Dudley. “We certainly hope to enjoy some operational synergies, but to a large degree, customer-facing employees are the least-likely to be impacted.”

The sale requires the approval of the federal government and every local government with a contract with Insight.

“So Louisville Metro Government would be one,” says Insight spokesman Jason Keller. “We also have more than 90 other local franchises in Jefferson County in addition to all of the caller counties and the statewide franchise that we have in Indiana and Ohio.”

Dudley says Time Warner representatives will soon begin talking about the deal with Louisville Metro and other city governments in Kentucky.

The sale also means that local television stations will have a new negotiating partner to have their content carried on local cable. Time Warner is a notoriously tough negotiator in these talks, but WDRB General Manager Bill Lamb says he hasn’t seen anything to make him worried at this time.

GigaOM has a writeup of the sale and the benefits for Time Warner, which was recently ranked one of the most hated companies in the U.S.

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Local News

Time Warner to Buy Insight for $3 Billion

Cable giant Time Warner, Inc. will buy Insight Communications for $3 billion.

Insight put itself up for auction earlier this year and attracted a host of large bidders. The bids at that time, however, were lower than Insight had reportedly sought, according to sources close to the deal. Company officials did not comment on the potential sale at the time.

Time Warner is the nation’s second-largest cable provider, and the purchase will give the company inroads in the midwestern market. Insight is the nation’s ninth-largest provider.

Businessweek reports that Time Warner “will begin a review of Insight’s employees to retain the best performers…Call-center operators and technicians will likely not be affected because the volume of work won’t change with the acquisition.”

The deal may generate annual cost savings of $100 million within two years, Time Warner Cable said in a statement today.

The acquisition is Time Warner Cable’s biggest since its spinoff from Time Warner Inc. in 2009 and may help the cable operator compensate for declining pay-TV demand. A wider footprint lets Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt reach more customers while eliminating duplications in programming and corporate costs including staff and infrastructure.

Calls to Insight were not immediately returned.