Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Graham Prods Cable Execs on Service Issues (Video)

When officials from Comcast and Time Warner Cable appeared at the Senate Judiciary Committee to push the case for their proposed $45 billion merger, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked questions that any ordinary American consumer might.

The South Carolina Republican had service issues, with both cable and DirecTV.

Before he switched to the satellite service, Graham said at the hearing that his cable TV “went out right in the fourth quarter of a ballgame.”

“Now, I’m a DirecTV subscriber, had problems with cable,” he said. “I’m trying to revisit this, I really am. I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to figure out what’s the best.”

“Somebody can sell me a product at this hearing, because I really don’t know,” Graham said.

Graham asked Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen more broadly about the effect on his fellow South Carolinians, where both companies do business.

Cohen said that while both Comcast and Time Warner Cable have customer bases in South Carolina, but that they are in different parts of the state.

In an interview after the hearing, Graham expanded on his line of inquiry.

“I was going to ask would they object if DirecTV and DISH combined, and I think the difference there is that you have two competitors that would be combining, and from what I can tell Comcast and Time Warner don’t compete in the same marketplace,” Graham told CQ Roll Call.

“I’ve had disruption of service with both. The weather seems to be a factor with DirecTV. You know, anything mechanical … can break,” Graham said. “I’ve got to sit down and think about it because I’ve had to move the satellite twice because I’m in a neighborhood with a lot of trees.”

Graham ultimately sounded supportive of the combined company.

“From what I can tell, a Comcast-Time Warner customer in South Carolina is probably going to benefit from the merger,” Graham said.

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