CenturyLink adds 24K Prism IPTV subs, aims at 300K addressable homes in 2014

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) added 24,000 Prism TV customers and 66,000 high-speed data customers to overcome continued declines in legacy services in both consumer and business segments.

Prism TV now has nearly 200,000 customers and more than 6 million high-speed Internet customers. The carrier said it will aim Prism TV at 300,000 addressable homes in 2014.

"We expect to continue to invest in our high-speed Internet and Prism TV capabilities with plans to continue to push fiber into our network and add approximately 300,000 Prism TV addressable homes in 2014," President-CEO Glen Post said in a briefing with analysts.

The carrier, he said, is monitoring Prism TV's success in current markets and considering further market expansion while keeping a close eye on the operating cash flow impact of any new market losses.

Cash continued to be somewhat problematic for the service provider. First quarter core revenues were nearly flat year-over-year at $4.11 billion and operating revenues were up only $4.54 billion from $4.51 billion year-over-year.

The slight growth--put at 0.6 percent--"was primarily a result of growth in strategic and data integration revenues that was partially offset by lower legacy revenues due to access line losses and lower minutes of use," explained CFO Stewart Ewing.

The growth in strategic revenue, he said, was driven by high-speed data, bandwidth business data services, Prism TV and hosting services.

Even legacy revenues, which continued to decline, did so at a less precipitous rate, he said.

Strategic revenues in the consumer segment were up $702 million, an 8.8 percent increase year-over-year, but overall revenues within the consumer space were about flat on a quarter-by-quarter comparison at $1.51 billion, reflecting "continued decline in legacy services which dropped from $864 million to $806 million in revenue," the carrier said.

The carrier continues its transformation from a legacy phone company to a provider of IP, enhanced network, cloud hosting and IT services, all dependent on fiber reach and broadband, as Post described it.

Perhaps indicative of the carrier's overall goals is the "limited gigabit service deployment" CenturyLink initiated in Omaha, where the results "exceed our expectations in the consumer market" and have pulled in small-to-mid business customers along the way, Post said.

For more:
- see this CenturyLink press release
- and this transcript

Related articles:
CenturyLink launches commercial 1-Gig; Canoe certifies This Technology
CenturyLink adds out-of-home viewing to Prism TV app
CenturyLink to hit Cox with 1-Gig service in Las Vegas