| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 24 No 1 cable provider Comcast
, in its talks with Charter about a possible
deal to acquire parts of Time Warner Cable, would be interested
in an agreement that gives Comcast the New York market and parts
of New England, a person familiar with the matter said on
Discussions between Comcast Corp and Charter Communications
Inc have gotten more substantive in recent days, partly because
Comcast felt takeover target Time Warner Cable was seeking too
high a price for itself, the person said on Friday.
Comcast is interested in acquiring Time Warner Cable's New
York City market since it already has operations in neighboring
Connecticut and New Jersey, the person added.
In New England, Comcast controls the Boston cable market and
is also eying areas where it does not already have systems such
as Maine, said the person, who asked not to be named because the
matter is not public.
Los Angeles, one of Time Warner Cable's largest markets, is
less attractive to Comcast, the person said.
In one scenario being discussed between the two companies,
Charter would first acquire Time Warner Cable, and then later
sell off markets to Comcast to generate cash.
"A combined Time Warner Cable and Charter could pay off its
debt quickly if it turns around and sells off some pieces to
Comcast," the person added.
The timing of an agreement between Comcast and Charter was
not yet known and talks could fall apart at any time, the person
Comcast had also been considering making a solo bid for Time
Warner Cable. But its thinking has changed recently because it
considered Time Warner Cable's asking price of $160 as too high,
considering some of the No. 2 cable company's operational
The company was unlikely to make a bid for all of Time
Warner at $150 or $160 per share, the person added.
Representatives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable declined
to comment on Friday. A spokesman from Charter could not
immediately be reached.
Charter offered to buy Time Warner Cable for $132.50 per
share, or $37.3 billion based on shares outstanding. Time Warner
Cable rejected that bid as too low and said it would consider a
deal at $160 per share.