Cablevision grows revenue, slows pay-TV sub losses as Altice takeover looms

Making what will likely be its last earnings reports before it is folded into European telecom conglomerate Altice NV, Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) reported revenue growth of 1.6 percent to $1.641 billion in the first quarter, with high-speed Internet customers expanding by 19,000, the best Q1 HSD expansion for the company since 2012.

The revenue performance matched analysts' consensus forecast for the erstwhile "connectivity company," which saw its pay-TV subscriber base shrink by 15,000 customers in the first quarter compared to a loss of 28,000 during the same three-month period in 2015. The company's base of Optimum-branded voice users declined by 8,000.

Consolidated operating income increased 12.3 percent to $251.3 million.

Cablevision continued its protocol of putting out an earnings release with no call — something it's done every quarter since Altice announced plans last year to purchase the Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable operator for $17.7 billion and slim it down with $900 million in budget cuts over the next three years. 

Earlier this week, the FCC released an approval order for the Altice takeover. The agency said the deal is in the public interest and requires no vote by its five-member Commission. The merger is reportedly set to be approved by New York regulators, as well.

In a statement released within the earnings release, Dolan attributed overall customer growth by Cablevision to improvements in its "Optimum" HSI and TV products, as well as in its customer service. 

"The transformation of the Optimum experience over the past three years reflects the success of our management team and employees in providing the best products, services and experience to our customers," Dolan said. In addition, we are moving full speed ahead towards the completion of our transaction with Altice, and are proceeding through the regulatory process as expected."

For more:
- read this Cablevision earnings release

Special report: Tracking pay-TV earnings in Q1 2016

Related articles:
Cablevision boss Dolan gets million dollar raise, takes in $24.6M in 2015
Altice's Cablevision purchase gets sign-off from FCC
Cablevision dives deeper into addressable TV ads and DAI with Google partnership

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