True it’s only a name change, but it’s a start. Several sources report this morning that once the merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter is complete, the new name will be Charter — the Time Warner Cable name will be history… a fitting end for a company with such a poor reputation.
Time Warner Cable is no longer affiliated with Time Warner, having been spun off in 2009. Time Warner will, of course, still use the name Time Warner, especially now that it will no longer be associated with a sub-par cable company.
Charter continues to move forward with merger plans but of course warns that changes will be rolled out in stages, and that the name change is merely one stage in the process. Eventually, all operations will be solidified under Charter’s Spectrum brand, used for entertainment services throughout the territories it controls.
Still no word on the channels owned by Time Warner Cable, currently known as TWC SportsNet, SportsNet LA, and various Spanish-language permutations of the same. It’s going to take more than a name change to help these ventures, which even the parent company admits are dismal failures. I had hoped that these extraordinarily bad ideas would have been one of the first things addressed publicly so that the 2016 baseball season could be salvaged for Los Angeles Dodgers fans, but it seems likely that there will be no movement until far too late in the season. Perhaps we’ll see some change before Lakers basketball and Kings hockey, both carried exclusively on those channels, begin in the fall.
Obviously a name change isn’t going to go far to help the millions of people who suffer from what has been called the worst customer service in the industry, but hopefully we’ll see some of the more heinous call centers closed as Charter’s generally more helpful service begins to take over. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen before with mergers of this size, it takes years to change corporate cultures and that’s not a huge help for ailing TWC internet and television customers who often deal with long service interruptions. Many areas have only one choice for high-speed internet, and unfortunately if you’re in one of those areas and you’re tied to Time Warner Cable, seeing Charter trucks in your cul-de-sac isn’t going to magically fix your problems. If you hold out for the long term, though… it might.
All we can do is hope.