Crossed Wires

A proposed deal may be the opening salvo in a major cable TV battle

THE WIRE WAR IS HEATING UP. AS THE PACE OF DEregulation quickens and emerging new technologies blur the boundaries separating their markets, the telephone and cable-television industries are set on a collision course. The confrontation moved another step closer when Southwestern Bell, based in St. Louis, Missouri, agreed to acquire two cable-TV systems in the Washington, D.C., area from Hauser Communications for $650 million. If approved, the deal will mark the first time any of the seven so-called Baby Bells owns a cable-TV franchise. Until now, the former Bell System companies have only formed joint ventures with cable operators.

The Southwestern...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!