Telecom Growth Feeds Cablevision’s Q4 Profit

Feb 27, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Cablevision Systems said Monday it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss a year ago as a result of charges related to the shutdown of a failed satellite service.

The Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable operator reported profit of $54.1 million, compared with year-ago red ink of $305.8 million, reflecting growth in the company’s telecommunications business. Revenue jumped 12.5 percent to $1.5 billion.

For the year, Cablevision reported profit of $94.3 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $676.1 million. Revenue rose 9 percent to $5.2 billion.

Cablevision’s core cable business reported increases in basic cable subscribers for both the quarter and the year of nearly 18,000 and nearly 64,000, respectively. Digital cable subscriptions increased 6.5 percent for the quarter and 32 percent for the year. The company’s digital phone service posted gains of 22 percent for the quarter and 168 percent for the year.

That growth came as phone giant Verizon Communications looks to roll out its video product in many markets where Cablevision does business.

At the company’s cable programming unit, Rainbow Media Holdings, results were more mixed. Strong advertising revenue at national cable networks AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC was partly offset by lower affiliate-fee revenue.

The rest of Rainbow was likewise a mixed bag, as higher revenue at music channel Fuse and IFC Entertainment was offset by declines at FSN Chicago, which suffered a reduction in affiliate revenue, and by the shuttering of two Metro channels.