Lawrence customers of Knology should expect to start seeing changes to their cable, Internet and phone services in the next 90 to 120 days following the announcement that Knology has agreed to sell itself to a Colorado-based company.
Englewood, Colo.-based WOW Internet Cable & Phone announced Wednesday it had reached a deal to purchase West Point, Ga.-based Knology, including its cable, Internet and phone operations in Lawrence.
“We’re very excited about going into all of the communities that Knology serves,” said Cathy Kuo, chief marketing officer for WOW, which is also known as WideOpenWest.
Kuo, though, said she had few details about what changes may be in store for Knology’s Lawrence operations. She said she expected the deal to be finalized and the transition to begin in 90 to 120 days.
Attempts to reach officials at Knology’s corporate headquarters weren’t successful on Wednesday. Local Knology employees, who were informed of the sale Wednesday morning, said they weren’t given details about what changes may be in store.
Kuo said the company hasn’t made any decisions about whether to keep the current Channel 6 local programming, including its nightly newscasts. Kuo said WOW currently does not have any cable systems that provide such local programming.
“We are very aware of the local news station and how popular it is in Lawrence,” Kuo said. “But we haven’t addressed our plans for that.”
Kuo also said WOW hasn’t made any decisions about whether Knology customers will be able to keep their current email addresses for the long term. Many Knology customers still have an email domain of @sunflower.com, which is left over from when Knology purchased Sunflower Broadband from The World Company in October 2010. The World Company is the parent company of the Lawrence Journal-World.
Kuo said in previous situations WOW has given email users a certain period of time to transition over to a WOW email address, which has a domain of wowway.com.
WOW announced Wednesday it had agreed to pay $750.5 million for Knology. With Knology’s debt included, the total deal was valued at about $1.5 billion. Knology’s board unanimously approved the buyout.
Publicly traded Knology, which will become a private company after the deal, has about 800,000 customers in Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Tennessee. WOW is a privately held company, and does not release subscriber totals. But published reports indicated the company had about 1.4 million subscribers in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. WOW is controlled by a New York-based private equity fund, Avista Capital Partners.
WOW CEO Colleen Abdoulah said in a statement that Knology and WOW are a “natural fit” and that the companies’ networks and infrastructure will aid growth.
WOW did not provide any details about the type of service packages or prices it will offer. But its website listed prices beginning at about $80 per month for 70 channels of cable, 2Mbps of Internet and phone service. More advanced service that includes 250 channels, 15Mbps of Internet, and phone service was listed at $102 per month in most markets.