Charter loses 64,800 video subscribers in third quarter

Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) said it lost 64,800 video subscribers in the third quarter, while it picked up 53,200 high-speed Internet subscribers and 10,900 phone customers.

The fourth largest cable MSO is seeing similar subscriber trends that Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) reported in the last week. Public cable MSOs are generating strong sales of cable modem subscriptions, while struggling to retain basic video customers.

Charter's total number of primary service units dropped by 700 in the third quarter to 9,323,700, as its gains in Internet and phone customers were more than offset by video losses. "We continued to be impacted by generally weak economic conditions and competition," Charter said in its earnings release.

Also worth noting from Charter's Q3 earnings report:

  • With more subscribers ordering triple-play bundles of digital video, phone and Internet service, its average revenue per unit increased 8.6 percent to $137.41 compared to the third quarter of 2010.
  • Charter said about 55 percent of its digital video customers subscribe to a high-definition programming package and/ or lease a DVR.
  • The average monthly video revenue Charter collected from each subscriber increased by 4.3 percent in the last year to $72.72, thanks to "targeted price adjustments" and increased sales of advanced services, the MSO said. 

Shares in Charter were trading slightly higher following its earnings release. Its stock was trading at $47.13 at 10:30 a.m. ET, up $1.19, or 2.59 percent.

For more:
- see Charter's earnings release

Special report: Sizing up the cable industry in Q3 2011

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