Fewer customers drop Comcast cable subscriptions

Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:19pm EDT
 
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp reported higher quarterly revenue and income on Thursday as more people signed up for its high-speed Internet service and fewer customers dropped their cable subscriptions.

Total revenue at the largest U.S. cable operator, which owns NBC Universal, rose to $16.79 billion in the third quarter, up 4 percent from the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting $16.83 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Comcast said it added 315,000 net high-speed Internet subscribers, a 5.8 percent uptick over the year-ago period.

About 81,000 customers canceled video subscriptions, far fewer than the net loss of 127,000 in the 2013 third quarter. Analysts had forecast a net loss of 93,000 subscribers, according to StreetAccount.

Comcast said the number of customers who dropped cable subscriptions was the smallest of any third quarter in seven years. It has a total of 26.8 million customers.

Comcast shares were up 3.4 percent at $53.25 in early afternoon trading.

The decrease in cable subscriptions is a closely watched figure that has taken on greater import given two major announcements from Time Warner Inc's HBO and CBS Corp last week.

Both the pay TV network and broadcaster are launching services that allow people to watch programs with only a broadband connection. Cable and satellite distributors are seeking ways to stop consumers, especially younger ones, from dumping their cable subscriptions, or "cutting the cord."   Continued...

 
A view of the headquarters of Comcast on JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Tom Mihalek