And Then There'll Be Two?
While competition from satellite TV providers DirecTV and and Echostar's DISH Network were originally expected to increase competition among cable companies, just the opposite may prove to be the case, Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons implied during an address to a Merrill Lynch media conference in London Thursday. Parsons said that he was "conceivable to him" that within five years could reach "a point in time when there's two separate stand-alone companies." However, he added, "I'm not prepared to make that call yet." In addition to his own company, Comcast, the largest cable-TV provider, has been gobbling up smaller cable systems. He predicted that the consolidation will intensify, "and we want to participate in that consolidation." He also suggested that the Time Warner Cable unit could eventually be spun off into a separate company.