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Cablevision adds basic subs in Q1, widens loss

Thu, 05/08/2008 - 8:35am
Mike Robuck

During its first-quarter earnings report issued today, Cablevision announced that it added 2,000 basic video subscribers and 41,000 digital video subscribers, but it also reported a wider first-quarter deficit.

While the basic video subscriber numbers were up from Q4 2007, they were down 14,000, or 0.4 percent, from Q1 2007. The digital video subscribers increased 1.6 percent sequentially and increased 6.3 percent – by 158,000 – year-over-year.

Cablevision has faced increased competition in its New York-area footprint from Verizon’s FiOS service.

Cablevision’s broadband customers were up 61,000, or 2.7 percent, sequentially and 225,000, or 10.6 percent, year-over-year. Digital phone customers increased by 93,000, or 5.8 percent, compared with the fourth quarter of 2007 and increased 367,000, or 27.8 percent, compared with the prior year’s quarter.

Bethpage, N.Y.-based Cablevision saw its revenue-generating units (RGUs) increase by 197,000, or 2 percent, sequentially and 734,000, or 8.1 percent, year-over-year.

Cablevision’s revenues rose to $1.72 billion, from $1.56 billion a year ago, but the MSO reported a net loss of $31.6 million, or 11 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31. In the same period a year ago, Cablevision lost $26.3 million, or 9 cents per share. Cablevision said the wider loss was partially due to a $105 million loss on derivative contracts.

“For the first quarter, we added customers across all of our consumer services, including basic video, and became the first cable company to achieve a 50 percent penetration rate for high-speed Internet,” said Cablevision CEO James Dolan. “These results extended Cablevision's industry-leading penetration rates for yet another quarter, while Rainbow and MSG generated strong revenue growth of their own.”

It’s been a busy week for Cablevision. The company announced plans to build a wireless network for its New York metropolitan footprint over the course of the next two years at a cost of $350 million.

Cablevision also announced on Wednesday that it would buy the Sundance Channel for $496 million in cash and stock from NBC Universal, CBS Corp. and Robert Redford. The channel will be added to Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Programming division when the deal is completed.

Cablevision is also reportedly vying against Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to buy Long Island’s Newsday from the Tribune Co., but Cablevision has not commented.

More Broadband Direct:

Cablevision adds basic subs in Q1, widens loss 

Comcast considering usage limit for data downloads 

Cable ops urge Congress for retransmission 'quiet period' around DTV transition 

Wilmington is FCC's lab rat for DTV switch 

RCN adds 11K RGUs in Q1 

SureWest ups residential RGUs by 119% in Q1 

SCTE Foundation releases Founding Donors list 

Broadband Briefs for 5/8/08

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