Time Warner Cable CEO 'Still Hopeful' to Get Comcast Deal Approvals by Year-End

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Rob Marcus

Rob Marcus reiterates at the company's annual shareholder meeting that he sees the deal as "a dream combination" and calls it a "very special value-creation opportunity."

Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus said Thursday that he was "still hopeful" that the company and Comcast would get the necessary regulatory approvals for their planned deal by year's end.

In February, Comcast unveiled a $45 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable.

Speaking at the TW Cable annual shareholder meeting, which was webcast, Marcus said Thursday that his team was "still hopeful that we can attain those approvals by year-end."

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Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav recently suggested that regulators may only decide on the deal during the first half of 2015.

While the companies work on getting the approvals, Marcus said TW Cable remains "laser-focused on running our business."

On Thursday, he also reiterated a past comment that the Comcast deal was "a dream combination." He also called it a "very special value-creation opportunity."

The acquisition by Comcast advances his two big priorities -- creating shareholder value and improving products and services for customers, Marcus told those at the annual meeting. The merged company will be "even more equipped to innovate," he argued, suggesting it would offer "even better video experiences," faster broadband and "more robust" video-on-demand content libraries.

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Concluded Marcus, "I feel incredibly proud and excited about the promise" of the deal.
Asked by a shareholder if Comcast's ownership of entertainment giant NBCUniversal didn't mean Marcus' team was going against its recent argument that it was better to focus on the TV distribution business, the CEO said Comcast was "mainly" a distribution company. And he argued that a deal proposed by cable firm Charter Communications overall wouldn't have created the same amount of value. Said Marcus about the Comcast deal: "All in, it was the best combination."
The CEO also mentioned at the start of the meeting that board member Glenn Britt, who served as chairman and CEO before Marcus, wasn't in attendance. Highlighting that Britt battled cancer last year, Marcus said, "We hope you will join us in keeping him in your thoughts."

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai