For two consecutive quarters, Charter has pulled off the improbable feat of adding video subscribers, bucking the industry-wide cord-cutting trend.
The cable operator added 53,000 residential and 14,000 small and medium business (SMB) video subscribers for 67,000 total additions in the third quarter. The company lost 77,000 residential video subscribers in the same quarter last year.
Charter ended the third quarter with approximately 15.7 million residential video subscribers, down just 0.1% year over year.
Last quarter, CEO Tom Rutledge partly attributed video subscriber growth to high broadband customer additions and that may have happened again in the third quarter. Charter’s total residential and SMB internet customers increased by 537,000, compared to 380,000 during the third quarter of 2019.
"Our long-term strategy of growing customer relationships by delivering high-quality products and service remains on track," said Rutledge in a statement. "We've added two million customer relationships in the past year and remain focused on executing a proven operating and investment strategy that works for customers, employees and the communities we serve, creating shareholder value for the long term.”
Despite two consecutive quarters of modest video subscriber growth, Charter’s video revenue still declined. The segment totaled up $4.2 billion in revenue for the third quarter, down 3.2% year over year. The company attributed the decline to customer credits related to sports programming, a higher mix of lower priced video packages within Charter's video customer base, a decline in video customers during the last year, lower pay-per-view and video on demand revenue and lower installation revenue partly offset by rate adjustments and promotional rate step-ups.
However, Charter was able to ride growth in internet, advertising and mobile to drive its consolidated revenue up 5.1% to more than $12 billion.