Sub Losses Drive Cash Flow Declines at Cablevision

Basic Video Customers Fall by 34K

Cable revenue rose 3.1% and adjusted operating cash flow was down 4.6% in the fourth quarter at Cablevision Systems, as a decline in basic video customers offset gains from rate increases and higher advertising revenue.

Cablevision lost about 34,000 basic video customers in the quarter (compared to analysts’ consensus estimates of a loss of 27,000 customers) and gained just 4,000 high-speed Internet customers. Voice customers declined by 11,000 in the period.

Cable revenue was $1.45 billion for the period and AOCF at the cable systems was $441.1 million, highlighted by a 5.3% gain in average monthly revenue per customer to $155.20 and a 9% increase in cable ad revenue.  For the full year, cable revenue rose 3.7% to $5.8 billion and AOCF increased 5.4% to $1.8 billion.

Consolidated revenue increased 3% to $1.6 billion and adjusted operating cash flow fell 3.4% to $440.9 million. Full year consolidated revenue was up 3.7% to $6.5 billion and consolidated AOCF rose 8.9% to $1.834.

“Cablevision delivered strong financial results in 2014, with significant year-over-year increases in revenue, AOCF and free cash flow,” CEO James Dolan said in a statement. “We also took steps to enhance our position as our customers’ preferred connectivity company, including the ongoing expansion of the Optimum WiFi network. As we look to 2015, we will continue to expand and improve connectivity inside and outside the home. The recent launch of Freewheel, our new all-WiFi data, talk and text service, is just one example of how we will serve the evolving needs of our customers while continuing to build the company for the long term.”