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Time Warner Cable Posts 66K Video Sub Loss in Q1

28 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Time Warner Cable reported a net loss of 66,000 video subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31) — underscoring ongoing challenges multichannel video programming distributors face retaining members in an era of rapidly evolving home entertainment options.

The New York-based No. 2 cable operator said video subscription revenue, which includes pay-TV channels and transactional video-on-demand, actually increased 1% to $2.76 billion from $2.74 billion during the previous-year period. The increase was primarily due to price increases and the influx of digital video recorder users.

While video subscriber growth remains challenged, overall subs increased 208,000, due primarily to more consumers requesting high-speed data connections — the type (broadband) required for Netflix streaming and other over-the-top video operators. Total high-speed data subs now surpass 10 million.

Net income jumped nearly 52% to $325 million from net income of $214 million during the same period last year. Overall revenue increased 5% to $4.8 billion from nearly $4.6 billion during the same period last year.

CEO Glenn Britt, in a statement, said the growth in broadband subs underscored evolving technology trends, notably in last month’s bow of an iPad app, which he said generated “overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews.”

The app also brought increased scrutiny and threats of litigation from content owners concerned the app — which allows subs to access content 24/7 from tablet computers in the home only — undermined existing syndication revenue deals and increased the specter of piracy, among other issues.


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