Charter Communications' (Nasdaq: CHTR) fourth quarter and year-end results reflected ongoing changes that are buffeting the entire cable industry. Revenue during the fourth quarter was up 4.3 percent to $1.78 billion and 4.8 percent to $7 billion over the year. The MSO lost 63,000 basic video subscribers during the quarter but gained 19,200 digital video subs and 31,700 broadband subs.
The cable business, Charter President-CEO Mike Lovett said, is now different for video providers and "we recognize the dynamic is changing." To meet those changes, Charter is digging more deeply into the convergence between linear video and online content by creating a "hybrid platform that leverages traditional cable and next-generation IP" and uses an iPad application as a "command central" to give subscribers the ability to browse and schedule recordings and access certain recorded content, he said.
Charter will launch the initiative mid-year and have it fully deployed "late in the year," Lovett said, adding that the video business will also be impacted by Charter's strategic relationship with DVR diva TiVo.
The biggest non-video change is the MSO's ongoing focus on broadband customer acquisition.
"We pass about 7 million homes with Internet capability with which we have no current relationship (and) while we increased our non-video relationships 20 percent last year, we still only captured 8 percent of that market," Lovett said.
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