Cablevision CEO Finally Says It: He’d Like To Make A Deal With Time Warner Cable

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Cablevision shares jolted to +7.1% a little while ago after CEO Jim Dolan acknowledged in a panel at the INTX confab something that most cable industry watchers have long suspected: He’d like Time Warner Cable — which serves Manhattan — to buy his Long Island-based company.

“Consolidation of that marketplace would fuel ingenuity, provide much more access to resources for the customers, and lower prices –and I think would be a great business,” Dolan said.

TWC chief Rob Marcus, also on the panel, responded that he didn’t know “whether I’ve just been asked out on a date or to get married.”

CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, moderating the panel, didn’t miss a beat: She asked Dolan whether he’d like to make a deal with Verizon FiOS, with whom he competes. “No,” he said. How about Time Warner Cable? “Yes….and any other operator.”

“I feel like I’m on,” another panelist, Cox Communications President Pat Esser said. “We’re all trying to update our relationship status right now in front of about 10,000 people.”

TWC may be free to explore a deal with Cablevision now that Comcast has scrapped its $45 billion merger plan. Dolan’s company has a market value of about $5.9 billion.

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