Bright House Networks, LLC was an American telecom company. Prior to its purchase by Charter Communications, it was the tenth-largest multichannel video service provider and the 6th largest cable internet provider (based on coverage) in the United States. The company served more than 2.2 million customers.
Bright House Networks' primary service offerings included digital television, high-speed internet, home security and automation and voice services.
Prior to 1994, some of the systems were fully owned by Advance/Newhouse under the names Vision Cable and Cable Vision (no relation to Cablevision in the New York City metro area), while in other areas, Bright House Networks is the successor to TelePrompTer Cable TV, Group W Cable, Strategic Cable, Paragon Cable, Shaw Communications and the Tampa Bay/Orlando Time Warner Communications systems in Florida.
All of the systems that eventually came to be owned by Bright House Networks were previously owned by the Time Warner Entertainment–Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Bright House Networks, LLC was formerly known as TWEAN Subsidiary, LLC and changed its name to Bright House Networks, LLC in April 1, 2003. Under a deal struck in 2003, Advance/Newhouse took direct management and operational responsibility for a portion of the partnership cable systems roughly equal to their equity. Bright House Networks offers video, high-speed data, home security and automation and voice services. In addition, Bright House Networks operated two regional local news channels – Bay News 9 in the Tampa Bay market, and News 13 in the Orlando market. Bright House Networks had an extensive fiber optic network in the Florida area and used it to provide commercial services including dedicated Internet access, VPN services, and private network transport as well as telecom facilities such as SIP trunking and PRI service.
On March 31, 2015, Charter Communications announced it would acquire Bright House in a $10.4 billion deal, contingent on Time Warner Cable waiving its right of first refusal to acquire the latter company, which was not expected to be exercised given the then-pending Comcast–Time Warner Cable merger. On May 26, 2015, after Comcast had abandoned its plans to buy Time Warner Cable, Charter announced its own plans to merge with TWC, as well as a renegotiated arrangement for the purchase of Bright House. If both deals are completed, Advance/Newhouse will gain a stake of roughly 14 percent in the combined company. On April 25, 2016 regulators approved both mergers. As a result of the deal, the Bright House and Time Warner Cable brands will be phased out and eliminated completely, with both services amalgamated under Charter's Spectrum brand over the coming months.
When Bright House Networks was separate from Time Warner Cable, most of its carriage deals were still negotiated on its behalf by Time Warner Cable. Thus, Bright House customers were affected whenever there were carriage disputes between TWC and a content provider, which has happened several times.
Bright House Networks Spectrum
From its inception in 2003, Bright House's systems in central Florida, including Orlando, refused to carry Fox Sports Florida. This dated back to when the central Florida cable franchise was held by Cablevision, and then Time Warner Cable. As Bright House is by far the largest cable provider in central Florida, this left most of the Orlando area without most Orlando Magic games. The dispute ended in 2009, when Bright House added Fox Sports Florida to its lineup.
On December 31, 2008, Time Warner Cable and Viacom's MTV Networks had not agreed to renew any Viacom channel beyond the end of year. Therefore, Time Warner and Bright House Networks would have lost all 19 Viacom channels (including Comedy Central and Nickelodeon) starting on January 1, 2009. This blackout was narrowly avoided when a zero-hour deal was reached shortly after 12 Midnight ET on January 1, 2009.
In December 2009, the Fox Broadcasting Company announced that a dispute with Time Warner Cable could lead to Fox's owned and operated affiliates to be pulled from Bright House systems in the Detroit, Tampa Bay, Orlando and Gainesville markets, along with Fox's cable and sports channels in all markets served by Bright House. The carriage protests were announced shortly before Fox was to carry the Bowl Championship Series, which included the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. The dispute excluded Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and some regional sports channels, which are on separate contracts. Shortly before the 12 midnight ET deadline on December 31, 2009, Fox granted Time Warner Cable and Bright House a brief extension during New Year's Day as talks continued, so viewers would not miss the Sugar Bowl, though the other bowl games and the NFL lineup remained at risk. A settlement between the two parties was reached the evening of January 1, 2010, though no terms were disclosed; during the discussions that day, none of Fox's channels or stations were blacked out.
In July 2010, ABC's parent company, Disney, announced that Disney was involved in a carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable for the first time since 2000 (because Bright House Networks deals are negotiated by Time Warner Cable, Bright House customers were also affected). In Bright House-served areas, the dispute involved the Disney Channel, Disney XD, ABC Family, and all the networks of ESPN. Despite word of an early agreement on August 30, 2010, it was not until the evening of the September 2 deadline that an agreement was reached between Disney and Time Warner Cable.
On July 9, 2012, Hearst Television removed its stations from Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems when the parties failed to reach a deal. In the interim, WESH Orlando was replaced on Bright House systems in Central Florida with WBRE-TVWilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a station owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, while other Hearst stations on Bright House were replaced with other cable channels offered by Bright House. Nexstar complained that Bright House has used WBRE's signal outside their markets without permission, while Bright House argued it was within its rights to use that station's signal as a replacement until a deal with Hearst was reached. According to Time Warner Cable, the dispute stemmed from Hearst's demand of a 300% increase in its retransmission fees. The substitutions lasted until July 19, 2012, when the deal was reached between Hearst and Time Warner.
On August 2, 2013 at 5 pm, the carriage deal between CBS and Time Warner Cable expired, with no renewal deal being reached until a month later. Time Warner had major markets affected by the blackout, while only a few Bright House markets lost access to CBS and CW stations owned by CBS Television Stations, as well as cable channels FLIX and The Smithsonian Channel; Bright House's territory includes CBSTS-owned broadcast stations Tampa CW station WTOG-TV and Detroit's WKBD-TV and WWJ-TV on their Livonia, Michigan system, which were blacked out.) Premium channels Showtime and The Movie Channel, which are also owned by CBS, were similarly pulled from the cable lineup, including the corresponding Video On Demand services. Bright House said that CBS withdrew permission to air Showtime, while CBS denied that and called the blackout a "punitive" measure by TWC.
In October of 2017, a dispute began between Charter and Viacom. Charter and Viacom did work out a temporary agreement, although a final decision has not been reached.