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Cable competition heats up

Competition is heating up for local cable giant Time Warner Communications, as AT&T Corp. flexes its marketing muscle in a partnership with DirecTV Inc., a direct-broadcast satellite service. And Rochester Telephone Corp. could be entering the fray soon, too.
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal details AT&T’s plans for a marketing campaign of DirecTV programming, discounts and financing deals, targeted toward AT&T’s long-distance customers.

Cable competition heats up

Competition is heating up for local cable giant Time Warner Communications, as AT&T Corp. flexes its marketing muscle in a partnership with DirecTV Inc., a direct-broadcast satellite service. And Rochester Telephone Corp. could be entering the fray soon, too.
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal details AT&T’s plans for a marketing campaign of DirecTV programming, discounts and financing deals, targeted toward AT&T’s long-distance customers. The marketing push should hit Rochester in the next few weeks, spokeswoman Virginia Gold told the Rochester Business Journal today.
However, AT&T customers have been able to get these DirecTV deals since March, when the partnership was announced, Gold said. The company has 90 million business and residential customers nationwide; it does not release information regarding its regional customer bases, Gold said.
Rochester Tel, which boasts some 400,000 customers in this market, is eyeing Time Warner’s turf as well.
“We’ve been taking a look at that for quite a while,” President Denise Gutstein said. “It’s a matter of (being) at the right price.”
The company is exploring different ways to provide cable-type service, either via satellite or other technology, Gutstein said. She expects Rochester Tel to enter this new line of business within the next 18 months.
Does Time Warner plan to beef up its own marketing efforts in response to competitors’ moves?
No comment, spokesman Liz Vega said.
(AT&T’s Web site is http://www.att.com.)

RBJ Daily 6-24-96

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