SBD/30/Sports Media

TIME WARNER INCHES CLOSER TO TCI IN CABLE RANKINGS

     Time Warner Inc., "aggressively pursuing its 'cable
clustering' strategy agreed to acquire the KBLCOM unit of Houston
Industries Inc. for $1 billion in stock and the assumption of
$1.24 billion in debt."  The purchase would give Time Warner 10
million cable subscribers, bringing it closer to TCI's 11
million.  "Equally important, it would give the company
substantial blocks of new customers in areas it already serves
and move it closer than ever to an all-out battle with telephone
companies" (Collier & Klein, BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS/BOSTON
GLOBE, 1/28).  In addition, Time Warner will buy the remaining
50% interest in Paragon Communications, a joint venture with
KBLCOM.  Paragon has 967,000 subscribers in New York.  In NYC,
Time Warner is now "set to go head-to-head with NYNEX Corp. for
multimedia clients" (L.A. TIMES, 1/28).  Time Warner CEO Gerald
Levin called his company "the best-positioned cable operator,"
with 3/4 of their customers in 30 large groupings of more than
100,000 customers (Glenn Collins, N.Y. TIMES, 1/28).
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