Charter Sees 6% Loss In Cable Video Subscribers, More Disney-Type Deals Coming

Like Comcast Corp. the day before, Charter Communications' results showed big losses in cable video subscriptions -- losing 327,000 subscribers in the quarter compared to 204,000 in the same year-ago period.

Video customers fell 6% to 14.4 million for the end of the period.

Chris Winfrey, chief executive officer of Charter, said during the earnings call that he anticipated more deals like the one made with Walt Disney -- where it was allowed to sell streaming services like ESPN+ as part of its legacy TV network video business.

Complaints that ESPN and ESPN+ have similar content, he says, results in consumers having to pay more. “If programmers insist on customers paying twice, we just won’t carry those channels,” he said.



The day before, Comcast posted an even higher video-customer video decline for Q3 -- 490,000 subscribers  -- versus a year ago in Q3 2022, when it lost 561,000 subscribers. Verizon also took a hit this past week -- down 78,000 for its telco video distribution service. It lost 95,000 a year ago.

Like Comcast, Charter’s overall revenue also grew slightly 0.2% year-over-year to $13.6 billion, as it reported third-quarter results on Friday.

One difference is that Charter did see a slight improvement in results for its closely watched broadband business -- up 1.1% to 30.6 million customers. (Comcast slipped 18,000 customers to 32.29 million)  Revenue for Charter’s internet business was up 4% to $5.8 billion. Its video business declined 9% to $4.0 billion.

Wall Street investors had had some concerns over these companies' results this week. 

Charter was down 5.6% to $388.84 on Friday and 10% for the week; Comcast recovered a bit after its big decline the day before -- up 1.2% on Friday. But it is still down 8% for the week. Verizon was down 1.8% on Friday but up 7.3% for the week.

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