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Time Warner Cable Ups Q1 Income, Loses Video Subs

29 Apr, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Subscription-rate increases and digital video recorder (DVR) revenue helped Time Warner Cable April 29 report first-quarter (ended March 31) operating income of $850 million, up nearly 19% from operating income of $716 million during the same period a year ago.

Net income attributable to TWC shareholders increased 30.5% to $214 million, compared with $164 million during the previous-year period.

The New York-based No. 2 cable operator, which is minority owned by Time Warner Inc., lost 42,000 video subscribers by the end the quarter, with 12.8 million members opting for continued access to premium channels and video-on-demand (VOD).

No. 1 cable operator Comcast Corp. reported a loss of 82,000 video subscribers earlier in the week.

Time Warner did add 102,000 digital video subs, bringing to 8.9 million the number of monthly subscribers seeking online access to movies and TV programming.

Video programming expenses increased 5.1% to $1.1 billion due to contractual rate increases and incremental retransmission consent expense offset, in part, by a decline in video and premium channel subscriptions.

TWC, which spun off from Time Warner last year, reported subscriber gains in high-speed data and digital phone users. The company ended the quarter with $21.1 billion in long-term debt – nearly half due to a $10 billion special dividend paid to Time Warner shareholders.

“We’re off to a great start in 2010,” said CEO Glenn Britt, in a statement. “Through product enhancements, more effective marketing and cost management, we drove profitable first-quarter growth even in the face of more intense competition.”

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