Time Warner Cable posted first-quarter earnings that weren't great on a purely financial level, but the company did report gains in digital cable TV, telephony and broadband customers that belied concerns that cable TV companies are suffering as consumers eye telco and Web video options in a tough economy. TWC added 121,000 digital video customers in the first quarter, while bringing in 174,000 new telephony subscribers and 225,000 broadband Internet customers. All three figures beat analyst estimates.
The broadband Internet sign-ups may be notable in that TWC recently came under fire for plans to expand metered billing practices for broadband usage. It also has been suggested the company might be tying DOCSIS 3.0 rollouts to its ability to do metered billing.
Increasing telco TV success has added to dire warnings about the cable TV sector's ongoing health. TWC also had had the additional hurdle of separating itself from Time Warner, and some reports on its first-quarter earnings indicated that restructuring and separation costs did have a drag on financial results. Net income was down about 31 percent for the quarter to $184 million, and revenue was down almost 5 percent to $4.3 billion.
- Multichannel News has this story
TWC recently suspended plans to expand metered billing
TWC posted a big loss in the fourth quarter of 2008