Suddenlink Communications added 2,200 pay-TV subscribers in the third quarter, standing out from the rest of the cable industry by posting a narrow gain. The growth is juxtaposed against a loss of 3,200 pay-TV subs in Q3 2013.
UPDATE: The Q3 numbers do not account for the loss of Viacom channels, which were taken off Suddenlink's service in early October. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the channels were removed in September.
Overall, Suddenlink reported a 6.6 percent revenue spike in the third quarter to $583.6 million, driven by 16.2 percent growth in its high-speed Internet business.
Messaging investors, Suddenlink chairman and CEO Jerry Kent paid ample attention to the MSO's recent decision to not renew its carriage deal with Viacom.
"The recent decision regarding Viacom reflects our commitment to serving our customers by offering them the best value we can," said Kent, in a statement. "We're listening to our customers, and we're confident we made the right choice as we adapt to changing industry dynamics. In the weeks and months ahead, we'll continue to emphasize--to our customers and the marketplace--how and why those changing dynamics required the type of decision we made."
In a conference call with investors Friday, Kent said Viacom had been seeking a 50 percent rake hike on its channels.
"Viacom is trying to protect an outdated business model," he said. "Our decision was to move away from that outdated business model."
Asked if the increasing overall cost of program licensing will drive Suddenlink out of pay-TV, Kent responded, "We have confidence in our video business. We believe in the video business. We're not giving up on the video business."
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