Charter’s video subscriber losses accelerated slightly in the third quarter of 2019 but slowed down from where they were in the previous quarter.
The company posted a net loss of 75,000 video subscribers, as 77,000 lost residential subscribers were offset only somewhat by 2,000 new small and medium business video subscribers. The loss outpaced the 54,000 video subscribers Charter gave back in the year-ago quarter but was an improvement over the 141,000 lost in the second quarter of 2019.
As of Sept. 30, Charter had 15.7 million residential video subscribers. But with more focus being placed on the company’s connectivity business, Charter increased its total residential and SMB customer relationships increased 310,000, compared to 234,000 during the third quarter of 2018. That increase was largely due to high-speed internet subscriber growth totaling 380,000 for the quarter.
"Our strategy of offering high-quality products with good service at attractive prices is working and continues to produce strong customer relationship growth," said Tom Rutledge, chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, in a statement. "In the third quarter, customer relationship growth continued to accelerate and our operating strategy keeps us well-positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunity in front of Charter."
Charter’s consolidated revenues for the third quarter grew 5.1% to $11.45 billion thanks largely to broadband revenues growing 10.1% year over year and reaching nearly $4.2 billion. With that growth, Charter’s internet business is beginning to close in on the company’s lucrative video business, which grew just slightly by 0.6% to total about $4.36 billion during the quarter.
Charter’s mobile business appears to be growing rapidly, jumping from $17 million to $192 million in revenue after the company added 276,000 mobile lines in the third quarter.
Charter’s total operating costs and expenses grew by $423 million during the quarter but programming expenses only increased by $12 million as contractual programming increases and renewals were partly offset by lower video customers, a higher mix of Choice and Stream customers and lower pay-per-view expenses.