Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) COO Kristin Dolan said broadband packages featuring over-the-air antennas are having the desired effect of bringing in new customers and are not cannibalizing the MSO's pay-TV core.
"People who we thought would be taking these products are taking them," Dolan said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference. Cablevision, she added, is not seeing a migration of customers from traditional cable video products into these so-called "cord-cutter" packages.
In April, Cablevision began marketing a 50 Mbps downstream broadband service with a Mohu Leaf digital TV antenna for $45 a month.
The product, Dolan said, has been popular with "affluent customers who just don't want to pay for TV they don't watch." Dolan did not say specifically how many new customers have bought into the $45-a-month broadband service. Cablevision added 14,000 broadband customers in the second quarter while dropping just 16,000 video customers in the second quarter. It was the MSO's best second quarter in terms of subscriber performance in three years.
She said the vast majority of the MSO's new customers still sign up for triple-play bundles.
Speaking to Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen in a one-on-one session, Dolan also addressed Freewheel, the Wi-Fi calling service Cablevision launched in January with great fanfare.
Without divulging how many customers have bought into Freewheel, Dolan boiled down the product as basically a learning exercise for Cablevision, "so that we could better understand how our customers use broadband."
A more commercial emphasis could be forthcoming, she added. "We'll be talking more about Freewheel in the coming months. It was a learning experience at first, but we're getting very enthusiastic about the product.
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