Cash flow has always been an important metric used by Wall St. to judget eh health of cable operators.
As cable has lost 1.4 million subs in the past 18 months, a new metric, free cash flow, has started to gain some traction, Multichannel News reports.
Free cash flow is the money left over "after capital expenditures and interest payments are made," the report says.
For the five publicly traded cable operators, in the first six months of 2009 free cash flow has increased from $2.5 billion to $4.1 billion over the same timeframe a year ago. The reason, the article says, is that capital expenses have fallen sharply.