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Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Businesses to See Little Change in Cable Ad Productions

In the aftermath of Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp.’s proposed acquisition of Adelphia Communications Corp., ownership of Adelphia’s Valley facilities and properties, including its in-house commercial production unit, will shift to Time Warner. In recent years, many Valley businesses had relied on Adelphia’s inexpensive commercial production facilities as an effective advertisement vehicle. However, with Time Warner maintaining a similar in-house production company based in Chatsworth, one can expect a relatively smooth transition for local businesses. The sale is not expected to be completed for nine to 12 months. In the interim, Adelphia representatives say that the sale of ads and the local production of commercials will continue. “People will still be advertising locally. We all have goals still in place for 2005 and there is a very strong passion to reach all of our goals set aside for media services,” Tom Straszewski, Adelphia’s director of new product sales said. “Our goal is to continue to stay on track. It’s a win for the creditors because it delivers them maximum value. It will be a win for Time Warner by adding high quality subscribers to systems that they already have in L.A. And it’s a win for Adelphia employees in L.A. because the company will become consolidated.” Deane Leavenworth, Time Warner’s vice president of corporate relations and communications, touts his company’s effectiveness in targeting customers through the commercials that they have produced. Prior to the sale, Time Warner’s only local subscribers were in the West Valley. Once the deal is finalized, all of both Adelphia and Comcast’s Valley subscribers will fall under Time Warner’s aegis. “We have a very good ad sale department. We produce and air commercials from our base in local base in Chatsworth,” Leavenworth said. “We currently serve 350,000 subscribers in L.A. and Orange County right now. Our product line includes cable television, HDTV, digital video recorders, a very robust video on demand product line-up that includes both subscription video on demand (VOD) and free VOD. We’re working closely with both Adelphia and Comcast to ensure a smooth transition.” Leavenworth’s opinions are backed up by both analysts and Time Warner clients. Michael Paxton, a cable industry analyst for In-Stat, attests to Time Warner’s strong reputation in the cable industry. “Time Warner Cable has a very good reputation in the industry, both as a service provider and among its subscribers. It’s probably one of the top two operators when it comes to customer service satisfaction,” Paxton said. “Time Warner has more extensive and widely available VOD than Adelphia. It also offers VoIP telephony, but that will take time to get into the systems in L.A. If you’re comparing the two companies, Time Warner has a better reputation.” Having used cable advertising for decades, Ted Haserjian, owner of Van Nuys-based L & S; Carpeting Inc. claims that he knows advertising from A to Z. Currently advertising his 10-store chain on both Adelphia and Time Warner, Haserjian maintains that both have given him excellent customer service. “We’ve had nothing but excellent service from Adelphia and Time Warner. I decided to advertise on both because while Adelphia does have a greater range in the Valley, Time Warner allowed us to advertise in the Canoga Park and Woodland Hills area. Both cable providers have made the process very simple and inexpensive,” Haserjian said. Nancy Abrams, the owner of kitchen ceramics store, the Gifted Collector, located at the Valley Indoor Swap Meet in Woodland Hills, is also high on the commercials that Time Warner has produced for her business. “The commercial producers from Time Warner came out to the swap meet to produce my commercial. They were a pleasure to work with,” Abrams said. “Because of the nature of what we sell, I didn’t have a clue to what we were going to do visually, but they got it all together and presented it effectively.” Time Warner and Comcast’s buyout offer is valued at $17.6 billion in cash and stock. Comcast will become the country’s largest cable operator, Time Warner will be second. Adelphia stakeholders will receive $12.7 billion in cash and a 16 percent stake in a new Time Warner cable company, which will include the Time Warner Cable Unit and the cable operations of Adelphia. The vast majority of Adelphia’s 14,000 employees are expected to land at either Time Warner or Comcast.

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