Video services

Cablevision's Up & Downs

Cablevision Systems Corp. eked out revenue gains in the second quarter with residential customer revenues up 0.9 percent to $1.4 billion, and commercial services revenues up 1.6 percent to $82.5 million compared with the same three-month period in 2012.

Overall, revenues rose 0.8 percent to $1.57 billion.

But while sales are up, customer numbers are down. Cablevision has lost 50,000 residential customers during the past year, and shed 11,000 customers during the second quarter, leaving it with a total of 3.22 million. Video subscriber numbers were down 20,000 in the quarter to 2.87 million.

But not all the customer metrics are on the slide. The operator added 3,000 new voice customers (total 2.29 million) and 1,000 cable broadband subscribers, taking the total to 2.787 million.

Despite the customer base attrition, the operator's average revenue per user (ARPU) number increased from $139.80 to $144.74 during the quarter, helping it to report higher revenues.

Operationally, highlights from the second quarter include Cablevision's launch of new Wi-Fi hotspots in New York, and the introduction of faster speeds across the provider's Internet service tiers. (See Cablevision & TWC Launch Wi-Fi in 32 NYC Parks and Cablevision Boosts Broadband Speeds.)

CEO James L. Dolan noted: "We have delivered significant product enhancements, including an across-the-board increase in Internet speeds, our new Multi-Room DVR and our industry-leading Wi-Fi initiatives. These types of advancements are providing an increasingly compelling proposition for new and existing customers."

Clearly not compelling enough for the customers that Cablevision lost, though.

— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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