TW Cable downplays merger with Comcast

CFO says just getting bigger not strategic

NEW YORK -- Time Warner Cable CFO Rob Marcus downplayed the outlook for a recently suggested merger with Comcast Corp. after an FCC ownership cap was struck down.

Asked here Tuesday about his take on the attractiveness of cable consolidation, Marcus said: "The benefits of scale are pretty well known," but he added: "We are not interested in getting bigger just for the sake of getting bigger."

While he said he was "pleased" that a court struck down the 30% cap, he echoed other cable executives who have said it doesn't change much. "I'm not really sure it's significant."

Marcus spoke here at the annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. He said a majority of a recent slump in subscriber growth momentum is recession-driven, even though competition from satellite TV and telecom firms is also intense and having some impact. "Housing in particular is a factor," and so is unemployment, the TWC CFO said.

Once the U.S. economy improves, TWC will see better results again, he predicted.