Nov. 8 - Cablevision lost video and broadband subscribers in the third quarter despite investments made to improve high speed internet service. Fred Katayama reports.
Cablevision swung into the black in the third quarter, but it lost subscribers - not just video subscribers, but also broadband customers. That stings, because that's the area that cable companies have been trying to grow as they lose video subscribers to cheaper online-based services like Hulu and Netflix. And the family that controls Cablevision, the Dolans, had made improving its broadband network a priority. The U.S.' fifth largest cable operator poured money to boost internet speed and its wi-fi service to take on the onslaught from Verizon's FiOS network. Cablevision shed more than double the number of video subscribers that Wall Street had expected. And it lost 13,000 broadband customers when analysts had expected a gain. Cablevision's stock had risen earlier this year on speculation that it would be acquired after billionaire John Malone bought a controlling stake in Charter Communications and said the industry was ripe for consolidation. But Cablevision is up about 5 percent this year, vastly underperforming the broader market and its peers like Dish Networks, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable. It said today it'll pay shareholders a 15 cent dividend.