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AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Charter Communications, Inc. announced Friday that it has hired TV veteran Katherine Pope to lead original content, a new role for the company. Pope will oversee the creation and launch of a slate of new original programming. The telecom giant previously announced original content partnerships with AMC and Viacom.

Why it matters: The investment in Pope — who's led a number of high-profile TV studios including NBC Universal's TV studio — shows Charter's commitment to distributing its own content first through its own pipes to consumers. The effort by telecom companies to combine pipes and content is becoming increasingly popular, especially in light of telecom deregulation under the Trump Administration.

The competition is heating up between internet service providers as more get into the original content business to compete with the tech giants that are growing to dominate the on-demand programming market. Some experts argue that Charter's pricing model for it's content won't offer consumers a competitive enough advantage over Netflix.

  • "Charter originals require what — $100 per month for channels and boxes you don't want? Netflix is only $10.99," says Rich Greenfield, Media Analyst at BTIG.

Charter is the latest major telecom company to get into the original content game.

  • Comcast, Altice and Verizon have brokered similar deals with some of the bigger entertainment programmers like FX and AMC.
  • The idea is to offer Pay-TV consumers content that they could consume through smaller digital packages as consumers begin to migrate away from expensive cable and sattelite subscriptions to cheaper over-the-top skinny bundles.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.