Cablevision swings to black on sub growth
Cablevision Systems added 99,100 revenue-generating units in its fourth quarter and 297,700 during its fiscal 2009. Growth in the cable business, compounded by success with Rainbow and Madison Square Garden (recently spun-off), led to 5 percent revenue growth in the quarter.
Cablevision’s Q4 revenue was $2.1 billion. For full-year 2009, consolidated net revenue increased 7.5 percent to $7.7 billion.
Revenue in the cable business was up 5.5 percent, from $1.31 billion in the fourth quarter a year ago to $1.38 billion in the fourth quarter just completed. Cablevision reported cable advertising revenue growth of 13.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with the prior-year period.
Basic video customers were down 2,800, or 0.1 percent, from September 2009 and down 45,100, or 1.5 percent, from December 2008.
''Our biggest difficulty has been in lower-income areas with high unemployment, and I think if we were in a more robust economic climate, we would have had growth in fourth quarter video [subscribers],'' said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer, in a conference call with analysts, as quoted in The New York Times.
Interactive Optimum digital video customers increased by 4,800, or 0.2 percent, from September 2009 and 55,900, or 2 percent, from December 2008.
Optimum Online high-speed data customers were up 45,700, or 1.8 percent, from September 2009 and 112,500, or 4.6 percent, from December 2008.
Optimum Voice customers increased by 51,400, or 2.6 percent, compared with September 2009 and 174,400, or 9.3 percent, compared with December 2008.
And RGUs were up 99,100, or 0.9 percent, from September 2009 and 297,700, or 2.9 percent, from December 2008.
Instead of ARPU, Cablevision reports “average monthly revenue per basic video customer.” RPS was $144.03, up $3, or 2.1 percent, from the third quarter of 2009 and up $9.18, or 6.8 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2008.
For the fourth quarter of 2009, the net revenue in the company’s business services arm, Optimum Lightpath, increased 1.7 percent to $66.3 million. The company said the improved results were due principally to the continued expansion of the more-efficient, higher-margin Ethernet business.
A year ago, for its fiscal 2008, Cablevision reported losses for both the fourth quarter and the year. For its fiscal 2009, the company swung to the black, recording profits of $78.4 million and $285.5 million, respectively.
Newsday made less money, but after a big loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, it got close to breakeven in Q4 2009.