From Altice to Comcast: Tracking Q2 2017 earnings in the cable industry

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How did pay-TV distributors—including cable MSOs, IPTV operators and satellite providers—perform in 2016's third quarter? What about relevant programmers and technology companies? In this earnings summary, we listed the results for the biggest pay-TV industry players.

July 17

Netflix
Netflix had a stronger quarter than expected in terms of net subscriber additions, and at the same time the SVOD saw its revenues rise 32.3% annually. Netflix added 5.2 million new subscribers during the second quarter. In the U.S. it added 1.07 million and internationally it added 4.14 million. The total for Netflix was 2 million more than the 3.2 million it predicted it would add this quarter.
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Netflix's investor relations page

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July. 25

AT&T
All told, AT&T lost 199,000 pay-TV users in the second quarter. The rapidly eroding U-verse platform lost 195,000 customers, while the DirecTV satellite service shed 156,000; total losses of 351,000 rendered AT&T’s linear pay-TV base flat with the year-ago period at 25.2 million customers. Evercore analyst Vijay Jayant predicted that AT&T would tally losses of 300,000 across its two linear pay-TV platforms in the quarter. Deutsche Bank, meanwhile, forecasted linear TV losses of between 240,000 - 268,000. AT&T said that half of DirecTV Now’s growth of 152,000 users in the second quarter came from customers fleeing traditional pay-TV, “mainly from our competitors.” AT&T said the platform has grown to 500,000 subscribers in just under seven months since launch.
- read the complete earnings story
- visit AT&T's investor relations page

July 27

Verizon
After steadily gobbling up IPTV customers over the last decade, Verizon Fios posted its third quarter of pay TV subscriber losses in the last year, dropping another 15,000 customers in the second quarter.  The losses were in line with Wall Street’s consensus forecast of around 16,000 users. The FTTH operator lost 13,000 pay TV users in the first quarter and 41,000 in the second quarter of 2016.  Verizon ended the second quarter with just under 4.7 million remaining pay TV customers, making it the sixth largest operator in the U.S.
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Verizon's investor relations page

Comcast
Waving off the latest flurry of merger speculation, Comcast reported a strong 5.5% year-over-year revenue increase in its cable operation during the second quarter, based on what the company said was rate increases and customers signing up for additional services.  Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 5.4%, despite slightly lower-than-expected performance in customer metrics and a sharp spike in programming costs.  Comcast lost 34,000 video customers in the second quarter, roughly in line with industry consensus forecasts for losses of around 24,000. Video revenue increased by 3.9%, with Comcast targeting a third-quarter launch for its new IP-video-over-managed-network service, Xfinity Instant Video. Comcast added 175,000 high-speed internet customers in the second quarter, narrowly missing consensus estimates of 188,000 users. Revenue from broadband increased 9.2%.
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Comcast's investor relations page

Charter Communications
Charter Communications delivered far better pay-TV customer metrics in the second quarter than predicted by investment analysts, with the No. 2 U.S. cable company dropping only 90,000 customers in the three-month period that is typically the weakest for pay-TV operators. Consensus forecasts for Charter had the company losing anywhere from 140,000 to 158,000 video subscribers. Video subscriber losses at legacy Charter (down 10,000 vs. -7,000 in the second quarter of 2016) and Bright House Networks (down only 12,000 vs. -72,000 in Q2 2016) were offset by 68,000 lost former Time Warner Cable customers during the period. 
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Charter Communications investor relations page

Altice USA
Altice USA followed its extraordinary $2.2 billion IPO with some fairly unremarkable customer metrics for the second quarter. The U.S. arm of the European telecom conglomerate, formed a year ago after Altice NV closed on Cablevision, lost 37,000 pay-TV users in the second quarter—12,000 in the acquired Cablevision footprint (which Altice now calls “Optimum”) and 25,000 in its Suddenlink Communications terrain. These numbers were roughly flat with last year’s attrition and congruent with consensus forecast.
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Altice USA's investor relations page

August 2

Arris
Arris reported a 4% year-over-year revenue decline in the second quarter to $1.664 billion, driven partly by the subscriber losses experienced at AT&T satellite platform DirecTV. Revenue from CPE sales declined 1.2% to $1.156 billion in the quarter, with set-top sales falling 17.8% year over year. “Satellite shipments were lower as compared to Q1 2017 in light of the DirecTV subscriber growth challenges,” conceded Arris CPE Chief Larry Robinson. 
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Arris' investor relations page

CenturyLink
CenturyLink found that the aggressive push by Charter, Comcast and Cox to deliver 1 Gbps over HFC had a great effect on its broadband subscriber base in the second quarter, resulting in a loss of 65,000 subscribers. Glen Post, CEO of CenturyLink, acknowledged the higher 1 Gbps speeds via DOCSIS 3.1 and aggressive pricing plans during the telco’s second quarter earnings call was a big factor in the broadband losses. “We had a seasonally challenging quarter from consumer broadband subscribers with an approximately 65,000 residential subscriber loss that was higher than anticipated,” Post said during the earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “This was driven to a great degree from stronger cable competition, particularly 1 gig offerings in some of our key markets, coupled with aggressive pricing.”
- read the complete earnings story
- visit CenturyLink's investor relations page

August 4

Dish Network
Dish Network reported slightly better-than-anticipated video subscriber losses of 196,000 in the second quarter, with the continued erosion of its core satellite TV business shrouded once again by the undisclosed growth of its virtual MVPD platform, Sling TV. Analysts covering Dish had expected losses to the satellite platform to come in as high as 370,000. While Dish—and the broader pay-TV business, for that matter—seem to have avoided a cataclysmic cord-cutting catastrophe in the second quarter, business is not great in Englewood, Colorado, where the metrics are mostly headed down. Revenue was down nearly 6% to $3.64 billion, with net income declining over 90% to $40 million, the result of litigation expenses, Dish said. 
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Dish Network's investor relations page

Mediacom
Mediacom reported a 4.6% revenue increase in the second quarter to nearly $471.5 million, driven by an 11.8% uptick in residential broadband revenue to just over $167 million in the period. The company’s other growth driver, business services, saw an 8.4% increase in revenue to $62.2 million. What remains the New York cable company’s biggest business, video services, saw only modest attrition to its user base, losing 3,000 customers compared to 11,000 in the second quarter of 2016. Mediacom closed the quarter with 829,000 video customers across its two operating divisions, down from 842,000 at the end of the second quarter of 2016.
- read the complete earnings story
- visit Mediacom's investor relations page

August 8

Cable One
- visit Cable One's investor relations page

August 9

Liberty Global
- visit Liberty Media's investor relations page

August 14

WideOpenWest
- visit WOW’s investor relations page

TBD

Synacor
- visit Synacor's investor relations page

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