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Cablevision Q2 Net Income Dips 8 Percent

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Cablevision on Thursday announced its second quarter earnings, posting net income of $87 million, or 29 cents a share, down 8.1 percent from $94.7 million, or 32 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

Consolidated revenue grew 9.8 percent to $1.88 billion, up from $1.71 billion.

Cablevision’s programming unit, which includes the cable networks AMC, IFC, WE tv and Sundance Channel, increased revenue by 5.3 percent, to $252.3 million. Despite a moribund advertising market, the Rainbow Media group saw its ad sales revenue increase by 2.3 percent versus the prior-year period, thanks in large part to higher pricing at WE tv. Affiliate revenue grew 9.9 percent during the quarter.

Thus far in this earnings season, ad sales results have been a mixed bag. Viacom saw its Q2 ad sales dollars recede by 6 percent, while the Turner networks were up 5 percent versus the year-ago period.

In the Q&A portion of the company’s earnings call, Cablevision chief operating officer Tom Rutledge said that while local ad revenue was down 16 percent, on a sequential basis, ad dollars were up 34 percent versus the first three months of the year, as automotive spend began to pick up.

Rutledge also noted that the cable operator was looking into offering more interactive advertising opportunities. “We’ve introduced the ability to take a viewer watching an ad and move that viewer to a Web-like service on their TV, where they can [get more information about] a product and place an order,” Rutledge said. “In the latter half of the year we’ll have more interactive advertising.”

On the MSO side of the ledger, Cablevision now boasts 2.9 million digital-video subscribers, which account for 94 percent of its overall sub base. The operator now serves 65 percent of homes passed.

The operator’s net revenues grew 4.6 percent to $1.3 billion.

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