Adelphia Communications Corp. has reported its first subscriber numbers in
seven months, restating customer counts to reflect a change in the way it
tallies basic subscribers.
According to a report contained in a securities filing Tuesday, basic
subscribers as of March 31 numbered 5.3 million, down from 5.77 million in
September, and digital customers have been reduced to 1.8 million from 2.4
million in September.
High-speed-data subscribers rose from 555,000 in September to 711,000 in
Adelphia said the prior numbers had included additional digital set-top boxes
and cable modems billed to the same customers. The new figures, based on
equivalent business units, do not double-count.
But bulk subscribers, such as those in multiple-dwelling units, are counted
differently. While in September, Adelphia counted MDU customers as one
subscriber, now, the company is taking the total amount of money received from
that MDU and dividing it by the average revenue per subscriber in that area.
For example, if one MDU was paying Adelphia $500 per month and average
monthly revenue in the area was $50, then that MDU represents 10
Adelphia spokesman Eric Andrus said the changes were necessary after Adelphia
decided to change its methodology and eliminate double counting.
He added that the subscriber loss really wasn't as dramatic as it might
appear. There's a good chance that Adelphia never really had 5.7 million
subscribers to begin with due to inaccurate counting methods.