Sprint Nextel, Cable Partners Name John Garcia President of Nationwide Joint Venture
Veteran communications executive will lead effort to deliver the “Quadruple Play” of integrating video, voice, Internet and wireless capabilities to tens of millions of customers nationwide
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — 01/04/2006, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE: S), Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable -- a unit of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications today announced that John A. Garcia, senior vice president of Strategic Partners for Sprint Consumer Solutions, has been named president of the companies’ nationwide joint venture announced in November 2005.
Garcia, who assumes the position immediately and will be located in Overland Park, Kan., will focus on delivering the convergence of video entertainment, wireline and wireless data and communications products and services to the approximately 41 million customers currently served by four of the country’s largest cable companies as well as to Sprint’s nearly 46 million wireless subscribers. The venture has the potential to serve approximately 75 million homes currently passed by the cable companies.
“This exciting joint venture will combine the expertise, technical leadership and customer focus of all the partners,” Garcia said. “This is an incredible opportunity and our goal is to provide millions of customers access to the most advanced integrated entertainment, communications and wireless products available anywhere in the United States. As early as mid-2006, we intend to begin the first steps of our rollout and deliver on that promise.”
Garcia will report to a six-member governance council – three from Sprint and one each from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox. The remainder of employees for the joint venture will be named in the next few months and will include positions in marketing, product, operations, program management, finance, strategy and other areas.
The joint venture, which will be mutually exclusive for three years and have a 20-year term, calls for a combined initial financial commitment of $200 million, $100 million of which will be committed by Sprint and $100 million of which will be committed collectively by the cable companies. The investment is expected to be used to fund the development of the converged services, national marketing initiatives and back-office integration. The companies continue to contemplate additional participation from other cable companies.
Beginning in 2006 and under Garcia’s leadership, the companies in the joint venture plan to:
* Offer consumers access to the expanded four element bundle, or “Quadruple Play,” or any combination of services including video, wireless voice and data services, high speed Internet and cable phone service
* Serve growing consumer demand for a wireless “third screen” beyond the TV and computer screens
* Develop and introduce new co-branded wireless devices that will provide new and unique features that integrate cable and wireless services
* Sell and market these co-branded products and services to customers through a combination of 1,600 Sprint retail stores, cable retail outlets and other third-party distributors, including thousands of RadioShack stores
Unlike MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) or other wholesale relationships, the companies participating in this joint venture will retain full economic benefits of the acquired customers, similar to what they currently enjoy through their direct retail channels.
Garcia was one of the earliest employees hired into Sprint’s Wireless group in 1995. In his first role as vice president of Marketing, he managed many of the initial marketing and sales strategies used to launch Sprint PCS into the marketplace. He then became region president for the Southwest Area in 1996, and was promoted to senior vice president of Sales & Distribution in 1998. In that role, Garcia developed and implemented the sales, distribution, handset and marketing strategies that drove Sprint’s growth and success in the wireless industry.
In 2005, Sprint’s strategic partnerships became Garcia’s full-time focus and following Sprint’s merger with Nextel in August 2005, he led the Sprint Nextel team responsible for creating the joint venture with the nation’s four largest cable companies.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/mr.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com ) is the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.4 million cable customers, 7.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company’s content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications, a Fortune 500 company and wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc, is a multi-service broadband communications company with more than 6.6 million total customers, including more than 6.2 million basic cable subscribers (these numbers are an approximation as Cox continues to assess the effect of population loss in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina). The nation’s third-largest cable television provider, Cox offers analog cable television under the Cox Cable brand as well as advanced digital video service under the Cox Digital Cable brand. Cox provides an array of other communications and entertainment services, including local and long distance telephone under the Cox Digital Telephone brand; high-speed Internet access under the Cox High Speed Internet brand; and commercial voice and data services via Cox Business Services. Local cable advertising, promotional opportunities and production services are sold under the Cox Media brand. Cox is an investor in programming networks including Discovery Channel. More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at www.cox.com.
About Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable owns and manages cable systems serving subscribers in 27 states, which include some of the most technologically advanced, best-clustered cable systems in the country with more than 75% of the Company’s customers in systems of 300,000 subscribers or more. Utilizing a fully upgraded advanced cable network and a steadfast commitment to providing consumers with choice, value and quality customer care, Time Warner Cable is an industry leader in delivering advanced products and services such as video on demand, high definition television, digital video recorders, high-speed data, wireless home networking and Digital Phone. Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.
About Advance/Newhouse Communications
Advance/Newhouse Communications manages Bright House Networks which serves more than two million customers in several large markets that include Tampa Bay and Central Florida (Orlando), Indianapolis, Birmingham, Bakersfield and Detroit, along with several other smaller systems in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Bright House Networks offers its customers a wide range of cable television services including Video on Demand, high speed data and Digital Phone services. For more information, visit www.mybrighthouse.com.
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding the business outlook, expected performance, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “target,” “providing guidance” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, customer and network usage, customer growth and retention, pricing, operating costs, the timing of various events and the economic environment.
Future performance cannot be ensured. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The parties believe these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. No party is obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. The parties regularly disclose in their respective public SEC filings a detailed discussion of risk factors including their respective 2004 Form 10-Ks as amended, and you are encouraged to review these filings.
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