Cablevision Reports Uptick In All Key Business Sectors

Cablevision Systems Corp. witnessed better first-quarter revenues and single-digit percentage growth for the average price its customers pay per month.

Revenues for the Long Island, NY-based cable company were 2.5% higher to $1.61 billion in the first quarter of 2015, with its average monthly “cable” revenue per customer up 4.8% to $155.34 versus the prior-year period.

Cablevision’s “cable” revenue includes video, voice and high-speed data services.

The company’s net income was cut by half -- to $44.4 million from $89.7 million -- during the period.

Cablevision lost 28,000 video customers and 14,000 voice customers by the end of the first quarter of 2015 versus the fourth quarter of 2014. Cablevision did improve its high-speed Internet customers -- up 7,000.



But Cablevision grew revenue in all its prime business segments: video was up to $801 million (from $793 million in the first quarter of 2014); high-speed data ($363 million from $347 million); and voice $232 million (from $220 million).

Although video subscribers continue to decline -- as they generally have for other pay TV operators -- Cablevision’s efforts to target “cord-cutters” with new lower-cost video packages are adding rather than replacing other services.

Talking to analysts on Monday, James Dolan, CEO of Cablevision, said: “We see the cord-cutters package as a way of filling out that product line and being able to offer levels of service that are less expensive than the big bundle.”

During the first quarter, Cablevision's local advertising revenues lost some steam -- totaling $31 million --- down from $48 million in fourth-quarter 2014, and less than the $32 million in the first-quarter 2014 period.

Cablevision says two key advertising categories are to blame for the 3% decline versus the same time period a year ago: lower gaming and bank ad spending. At the same time, there was higher automotive and consumer product advertising.

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