Charter CFO Winfrey: 'Operating momentum is hard to get, but we have it'
Calling the cable business "under-penetrated," Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) CFO Christopher Winfrey continued to hammer home his company's rationale for attempting to by Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks.
Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media Internet & Telecom Conference, Winfrey said Charter has achieved "operational momentum" since the 2012 digital overhaul initiated under President and CEO Thomas Rutledge, accelerating margins on each user with more efficient customer service and technology.
Plying operational efficiencies such as the Spectrum Guide cloud-based video distribution system, and the World Box standardized set-top template, to the customer bases of TWC and Bright House Networks will allow Charter to expand its momentum, according to Winfrey.
"It's very difficult to gain operating momentum, but once you have it, there's an inertia," Winfrey said "Now, we look forward to [applying our momentum] to a bigger set of assets."
Winfrey added that when and if the deals close — he expects this to happen in May — Charter will work to get its pricing and packaging deployed across the footprints of its acquisitions "as fast as possible."
Charter expects to hire roughly around 7,000 new employees across TWC and Bright House, as it brings back a number of customer service and other operational positions. "There will be a lag effect in getting up and productive," he said.
Ultimately, Winfrey explained, the "quality of our transactions is going to be so much higher," lowering the amount of service transactions and costs, even though we're spending more on labor… We're going to have higher ROI every day when we acquire a customer."
Addressing the cable industry's broader move to DOCSIS 3.1, meanwhile, Winfrey said Charter simply has too much on its plate right now to follow other cable companies into the transition. "At some point, we'll move onto that," he said.
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