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Charter, Cablevision Lose Video Subs

7 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Charter Communications and Cablevision Systems lost a combined 92,000 video subscribers in the second quarter (ended June 30) compared with the previous-year period.

The losses underscore ongoing challenges cable operators face retaining video subs due to the economy and third-party competitive pressures from subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, among others.

St. Louis-based Charter, the No. 3 domestic cable operator, said it lost 66,000 video subs in the quarter to end the period with more than 4 million members. Manhattan, N.Y.-based Cablevision lost 26,000 video subs to end the period with 3.25 million subs.

The sub losses paled in comparison to Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, which lost 176,000 and 169,000 video subs, respectively.

Charter said the average video subscriber’s monthly bill increased 3% to $73.41 from $71.23 last year, while Cablevision said average video revenue increased nearly 2% to $155.12 from $152.36 last year.

Comparatively, Netflix and Hulu Plus charge $7.99 monthly to access video streams, while Amazon Prime costs $79 annually. With high-speed Internet connectivity required to deliver SVOD and related data into households, Cablevision added 104,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and Charter added 29,000 subs — underscoring TWC CEO Glenn Britt’s recent comment that cable operators have become broadband suppliers.


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