TWC reports 3.6% revenue spike on business services growth, but loses 184K video subs

Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) reported 3.6 percent year-over-year third-quarter revenue growth to $5.71 billion, driven partly by 21.9 percent growth in business services. However, the cable company missed analysts' consensus revenue forecasts of $5.74 billion.

And it continued to lose video subscribers, reporting a net loss of 184,000 for the third quarter. TWC ended Q3 with just over 10.8 million TV users. It lost only 122,000 video customers in the third quarter of 2013.

The company, however, added 92,000 residential high-speed Internet users, upping that customer base to just over 11.5 million.

During the call with investors, TWC CEO Rob Marcus expressed his "bullishness" regarding business services, which saw a 21.6 percent spike in high-speed data revenue performance. Overall customer relationships for TWC's business services sector increased 2 percent to 674,000.

Asked by investment analysts about new over-the-top ventures by HBO and CBS, Marcus wasn't quite as provocative as his colleagues at Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) were a week ago, merely saying that improvements in its program guide and VOD library make TWC a compelling alternative to OTT services.

He also struck a cordial tone, noting that anything that improves high-speed data services--a segment that enjoyed a 10.9 percent revenue spike in the residential side for TWC in Q3--is a good thing.

Regarding TWC's controversial regional sports network, SportsNet LA, Marcus struck a business-as-usual tone, noting that the company will continue to try to find carriage for the RSN when the baseball season resumes next year.

TWC experienced a 9.6 percent uptick in video programming experiences, driven significantly by the $8.35 billion deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to program SportsNet LA. Still, Marcus said it's driving video performance in the important L.A. region, despite not having carriage on any other major pay-TV service.

"I can't draw a direct causal relationship [to SportsNet LA]," he said, "but I can say L.A. had one of the best overall video performances in Q3."

For more:
- read the TWC earnings release
- listen to this earnings presentation

Earnings roundup: Sizing up pay-TV earnings for the third quarter of 2014

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