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Cablevision Loses 111,000 Video Subs

3 Nov, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

New York cabler joins pay-TV bandwagon 'celebrating' reduced video subscriber losses

Cablevision Nov. 3 reported a third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) loss of 111,000 video subscribers to finish the period with 2.6 million. The New York-based cable operator ended the previous-year period with 2.71 million.

“Cable had its strongest third-quarter performance in customer relationships, video and high-speed data since 2012,” said the company in the filing.

Cablevision, which in September entered into an agreement to be purchased by European-based Altice N.V., joins a growing list of pay-TV operators heralding softening video subscriber losses as a victories.

AT&T lost 92,000 U-verse video subs, which CEO Randall Stephenson dismissed as a challenge “we can work through.” Comcast and Time Warner Cable both proclaimed video subscriber turnarounds despite losing 60,000 and 40,000 subs, respectively, in the quarter.

Time Warner Cable in recent years has been a poster child for declining video, shedding more than 3.7 million subs since 2013. All good apparently to CEO Rob Marcus, who said 82% of current video subs have opted for premium channel bundles.

“For all the talk about skinny bundles, we’re doing pretty well offering a full-video product,” Marcus said on the fiscal call. TWC is in the process of being acquired by Charter Communications, which gained 3,000 video subs.

Regardless, while Cablevision’s video sub loss was an “improvement” over the same period in 2013, the company also reported a 2% decline in video revenue to $785 million. Video revenue includes video-on-demand (transactional and Digital HD) and pay-per-view.

The company reported a 1% increase in broadband subscribers to 2.78 million, from 2.75 million a year ago.

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