No Hockey Equals No Problem at Mediacom

Q2 Sub Losses Improve Despite Blackout During Stanley Cup

Mediacom Communications improved basic video customer losses in the second quarter by 33%, shedding about 12,000 basic video subscribers in the period compared to a loss of 18,000 customers in the prior year, despite losing access to some NHL Stanley Cup Finals games during a retransmission consent dispute.

Mediacom ended the second quarter with about 879,000 basic video customers. High-speed data subscribers rose by about 10,000 to 1.1 million and phone customers increased by 4,000 to 415,000 subscribers.

On June 1, Granite Broadcasting’s NBC stations in Peoria, Ill.; Duluth, Minn.; and Fort Wayne, Ind.; went dark to Mediacom customers after the two parties could not reach a retransmission consent agreement. The blackout occurred just as the Stanley Cup Finals began on June 3, pitting local favorites the Chicago Blackhawks against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mediacom customers weren’t able to watch Game One and Game Two of the Best-of-Seven Series at home, which were broadcast on NBC. Games Three and Four were aired on cable channel NBC Sports and were therefore accessible.

Mediacom had tried to lessen the blow for customers by hosting viewing parties at a local restaurant to watch the games.

The Granite dispute was settled on June 11, just in time for Game Five of the Finals on June 13. The Blackhawks won the Series, 4-2 in Game Six.

For the quarter, Mediacom Broadband and Mediacom LLC units reported combined revenue of about $431.7 million, up 3.9% compared to $415.6 million in the prior year. Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization was a combined $170.6 million, up 6.6% from the year before.  

Mediacom is privately held but publicly discloses its financial statements as part of a bond agreement that helped take the company private in 2011.