Cablevision Ups Revs, But Loses Video Subscribers

As with other cable companies, Cablevision Systems continues to lose video subscribers -- but those existing video customers are paying more as other business and revenue continue to climb.

Cablevision revenues in the fourth quarter were 4.5% higher to $1.58 million, with net income cut in half to $51.3 million from $116.6 million. Cablevision had a positive benefit in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a legal settlement concerning Voom, a suite of high-definition television channels.

Cablevision’s stock was up 5.6% on the day to $17.55. Cablevision’s results come just days after the recent news of Comcast’s agreed merger of Time Warner, the second-biggest U.S cable operator. Cablevision is the fifth largest U.S. cable operator.

In its earnings call with analysts, Cablevision executives said they would not entertain any questions related to further cable industry consolidation.

Revenues from the company's cable operations were up 5.2% to $1.4 billion. with the average monthly "cable" revenue per customer now at $147.34 -- up 4.6%. Cablevision says its "cable" business now includes digital cable TV, high-speed Internet, phone services and WiFi operations.

Cable advertising revenue growth was 2.6% to $44 million, compared with the prior-year period. Taking out political advertising, cable advertising sales were up 20%.

Cablevision lost 18,000 video customers in the period, for a total of 2.8 million. Broadband customers added 6,000 to reach a  total of 2.78 million. Video customers were flat at 2.27 million.

Looking at its business from its other properties, Newsday, News 12 Networks, Cablevision Media Sales Corporation, and MSG Varsity declined 4.9% to $97.0 million in the fourth quarter. A drop in advertising revenue at Newsday contributed to the results.

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