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TELEWEST INTERNATIONAL PURCHASES WASHINGTON POST U.K. CABLE FRANCHISES

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- TeleWest International has completed the purchase of The Washington Post Company's (NYSE: WPO) cable franchises in the United Kingdom, the two companies announced today.
 The Post's U.K. franchise areas include approximately 421,000 homes in six areas of central Scotland near Perth and Dundee: Cumbernauld, Dumbarton, Falkirk/Livingston, Fife, Strathclyde and Tayside. At June 30, 1993, the company passed 92,000 of these homes and served over 19,000 subscribers.
 Terms of the transaction were not announced; however, The Washington Post Company said it will realize an after-tax gain on the sale in the range of $5-$10 million.
 Alan G. Spoon, chief operating officer of The Washington Post Company, said: "The goal of our cable investment had been to provide profitable multichannel video services to U.K. residents. We remain optimistic about the growth prospects for cable in the United Kingdom. However, since our entry into the U.K., regulatory changes there have strongly encouraged cable companies to provide local land-line telephone services as well.
 "Telephone construction and operation have taken top priority as the industry exploits more fully this opportunity. To construct both cable and telephone would have required a very substantial increase in capital spending, and we believe we have other opportunities that more closely match our investment criteria. Specifically, this decision enables us to focus our managerial and financial resources more intensely on emerging wireless Personal Communications Services (PCS)."
 The Post Company's partnership, American Personal Communications (APC), has been operating test PCS systems in the Washington-Baltimore area since November 1991. In October 1992, APC received a tentative pioneer's preference for PCS from the Federal Communications Commission.
 Spoon added: "We believe our U.K. cable subscribers will be well served by TeleWest, a company with major investments in U.K. telecommunications and a strong commitment to quality service."
 "The Post's franchises in Scotland are a perfect complement to our cable TV and telephone operations in the United Kingdom," said Gary Bryson, president of TeleWest International. "Along with our franchise in Edinburgh, these new systems give us an excellent base from which to offer both cable TV and telephone service to an even wider audience in Scotland."
 TeleWest is the largest operator of combined cable TV and telephone networks in the United Kingdom. In addition to the new Scotland franchises, TeleWest serves 17 other franchises representing three million homes. The company currently serves 161,000 cable TV customers and has more than 107,000 telephone access lines in service.
 TeleWest International is a joint venture between Tele- Communications, Inc. (TCI), the world's largest cable TV operator, and U S WEST, Inc. (NYSE: USW), which owns U S WEST Communications and other companies involved in communications and marketing services.
 -0- 9/8/93
 /CONTACT: Guyon Knight of The Washington Post, 202-334-6642, or Ed Mattix of TeleWest International (London), 44-71-495-8484/
 (WPO USW)


CO: The Washington Post Company; TeleWest International ST: District of Columbia IN: PUB TLS SU: JVN

IH-MH -- DC013 -- 9941 09/08/93 15:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993
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