For the second day in a row, the cable TV industry is effectively disputing the notion that it has suffered under the weight of a troubled economy and increasing competition from telcos. Yesterday, it was Time Warner Cable, and today, Comcast. For the first quarter, Comcast actually reported slower subscriber growth in all three key service categories--digital cable, broadband Internet and telephony--yet posted a 5.4 increase in net income to $778 million and a 5.3 percent rise in revenue to $8.84 billion.
Reductions in capital spending apparently have had a significant effect on overall free cash flow, which jumped 95 percent to $1.37 billion. While telephony subscriber additions were down about 53 percent from the first quarter of 2008, Comcast still reported 298,433 new digital phone customers for Q1 2009 (yes, Q1 2008's figure was indeed a whopper). Broadband Internet subscriber additions came in at 328,613, off 33 percent, but ahead of Comcast's biggest telco competitors.
- The Wall Street Journal has this report
Time Warner Cable posted Q1 results this week
Comcast added 639,000 telephony subs in Q1 2008