Cablevision Loses Fewer Pay TV Subs in Fourth Quarter, Earnings Drop

Peter Yang
Cablevision CEO James Dolan

The company, led by CEO James Dolan, says its sale to European cable and telecom giant Altice is expected to close in the second quarter and touts its first year of "organic growth in total customer relationships" since 2008.

Cablevision Systems on Thursday reported its fourth-quarter financials and subscriber figures, saying that 2015 was its first year of "organic growth in total customer relationships" since 2008.

It lost 10,000 pay TV subscribers in the latest quarter, compared with a year-ago loss of 34,000 and 33,000 in the third quarter. The cable operator ended 2015 with a total of 2.59 million video subscribers and 3.12 million total customers, adding 13,000 total users in the final quarter of 2015. It particularly continued to grow its broadband user base.

Cablevision's fourth-quarter earnings of $32.1 million, 12 cents per share, compared with $56.0 million, or 20 cents in the year-ago period. Revenue dropped 0.1 percent to $1.63 billion.

CEO James Dolan said that "2015 marked a turning point for Cablevision in several ways. We increased total Cablevision customer relationships and ended the year with more high-speed data customers than ever before in the nation's most competitive telecommunications market. Cablevision's improved operational performance demonstrates our continued execution of strategic initiatives, including competing on value rather than price, providing better products and services, and delivering a superior customer experience."

Cablevision said it won't hold an earnings conference call, as it has agreed to be acquired by European cable and telecom giant Altice. The company said the takeover is expected to close in the second quarter.

Dolan said in the earnings report: "We continue to move full speed ahead toward the completion of our transaction with Altice, and we are proceeding through the regulatory process as expected."