Cable TV Operators Cut Spending

Cable TV Operators Cut Spending

InStat/MDF reports that with the recent releases of third quarter 2003 cable TV operator financial statements, US-based cable operators like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and Charter Communications are continuing to reduce spending on everything from consumer premise equipment such as set top boxes and cable modems, to infrastructure transmission equipment like head-ends and video servers.

For example, Charter Communications stated that it has reduced its capital expenditures (CAPEX) this year by 68%, while Cox has lowered its own spending on equipment by about 30%. Time Warner Cable, the nation's second largest cable operator, has cut spending by almost 20%. Comcast's CAPEX is also on track to be down by approximately 15% in 2003, even though the largest US cable operator continues to spend heavily upgrading its former AT&T Broadband systems.

Based on expenditures through the first nine months of 2003, this year's US cable equipment CAPEX total is on track to finish at approximately $10.2 billion, down over 20% from 2002 CAPEX totals.

US Cable TV Operator CAPEX ($ in billions)

1999 $11.0
2000 $15.9
2001 $15.3
2002 $13.3
2003 (e) $10.2

the In-Stat/MDR report suggests that the 2004 cable industry CAPEX looks quite a bit like 2003. In-Stat/MDR's preliminary forecast for 2004 CAPEX indicates that US cable operator spending will likely end up around $9.5 billion.

See In-Stat/MDR's cable industry coverage here.

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