Cable-TV changes not likely for a while
AT&T cable-TV customers should not expect to see changes in service or rates "for quite some time" as a result of the company's planned merger with Comcast, an AT&T Broadband spokesman said.
The two companies announced a deal late Wednesday valued at about $52 billion that will create the AT&T Comcast Corp. The deal is expected to be complete at the end of 2002.
In the meantime, AT&T customers will not see changes in billing, programming or services as a result of the agreement, according to company spokesman Dan Garfinkle.
A Comcast spokesman did not return calls for comment.
AT&T Broadband will raise rates in the Valley in 2002 but only as part of an increase announced last month.
To offset programming costs, AT&T is raising rates on the average of 4.2 percent. The hike is the second in as many years. The company raised rates in 2000 about 5 percent.
Comcast was the Valley's largest cable provider until Dec. 31, 2000, when it swapped a number of it properties - including its interest in the Valley - with AT&T.
The deal upset many Valley residents because it meant the loss of local programming, but AT&T later allowed school districts to air sporting events that the districts taped themselves.
When the merger is complete, the new company will have about 22.3 million subscribers.