Continental Cablevision was founded as an alternative to off-air television reception in rural areas. The Company has experienced significant growth and is now the fourth largest cable television system operator (based on its number of basic subscribers) in the United States and is currently the largest privately held cable company in the country. MediaOne is the result of a November 15, 1996 merger between US WEST Media Group and Continental Cablevision. The company changed its name from Continental Cablevision to MediaOne on May 13th, 1997.