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Entertainment Drives Cablevision Q4 Income Surge

25 Feb, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Cablevision Feb. 25 bucked recent cable operator trends by posting quarterly increases in video-on-demand (VOD) movies and related entertainment revenue.

The Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable operator with 3 million subscribers said fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31) operating income from its telecommunications unit increased nearly 23% to $364.6 million, compared with operating income of $297.1 million during the previous-year period.

Video revenue for telecommunications unit, which includes VOD, digital video recorders and pay-per-view, rose less than 1/10th of 1% to $778 million from $771 million last year. Total revenue for the unit increased 5% to $1.38 billion, compared with $1.31 billion last year.

Cablevision also reported subscriber increases for its AMC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC properties.

Top domestic cable operators Comcast and Time Warner Cable each reported declines in premium channel subscribers and VOD transactions in recent financial reports.

Cablevision last year launched an interactive tool, iO TV, which allows subscribers via the remote control to more easily find and record on-demand movies and TV programming. Movie and TV recording is internally controlled by the cable operator and not a subscriber’s set-top box such as with cable-based DVRs.

Cablevision launched iO TV after the U.S. Supreme Court said it would not weigh in on litigation involving the remote-storage digital video recording service

The company said it added 5,000 iO TV monthly subscribers to a base of 2.89 million, helping to increase the overall average monthly cable bill $3 to $144.03.

In 2006 a group of Hollywood studios and TV networks filed a lawsuit against Cablevision alleging that its planned DVR service violated their copyrights.

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