Charter Communications, the third largest pay TV provider in the U.S., announced first-quarter earnings marked by an acceleration in video subscriber declines.
The company posted net video subscriber losses totaling 145,000, compared to a net loss of 111,000 one year ago. The company lost 152,000 residential video subscribers this quarter, a 24% increase over the 121,000 residential subscribers it lost in the year-ago quarter. Those residential video subscriber losses were offset somewhat by 7,000 new small and medium business video subscribers being added.
Charter ended the quarter with 15.95 million total video primary service units and approximately 26.6 million customer relationships.
Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said that the negative impacts associated with Charter’s acquisition and integration of Time Warner Cable and Bright House should subside moving forward.
"With the most customer-impacting elements of our integration behind us, we are now focused on growing our business. We are doing that by driving high quality subscriptions, reducing transactions and churn, and maintaining and creating product superiority with a value proposition that our competitors don't provide," said Rutledge in a statement.
As video subscriber declines continued their downward trend, Charter’s video revenues rose during the first quarter. The company posted total video revenues of $4.38 billion, up 2.1% from the year-ago quarter. At the same time, the company’s cable operating expenses rose a near identical 2% during the quarter.
Commercial revenues rose to $1.6 billion, an increase of 4.3% over the year-ago quarter, driven by small and medium business revenue growth of 5% and enterprise revenue growth of 3.4%. First quarter advertising sales revenues of $345 million declined 3.1% compared to the year-ago quarter, thanks in part to lower political revenue.
Growth from both video and internet service revenues helped grow Charter’s overall cable revenues by 5.1% to $11.2 billion during the quarter. The segment’s adjusted EBITDA rose 4.2% to more than $4 billion. The company ended up with net income attributable to Charter shareholders totaling $253 million in the first quarter, up from $168 million one year ago.