Cablevision's 4Q Profit Skyrockets

By Cindy Waxer February 16, 2011

Despite the cable standoffs of last year, Cablevision Systems Corp., the nation's fifth-largest cable TV company, reports that its fourth-quarter net income rose 45 percent. In fact, fourth quarter consolidated net revenues grew 5.7 percent to $1.869 billion compared to the prior year period. Much of this growth reflects Cablevision’s recent acquisition of Bresnan properties, including a $14.4 million contract termination charge. 

For full year 2010, consolidated net revenues increased 5.6 percent to $7.231 billion. What’s more, Cablevision added a net 271,000 basic cable subscribers during the quarter to raise its tally to about 3.3 million.

Of course, if not for the Bresnan acquisition, Cablevision would have lost 35,000 basic cable customers, largely due to a dispute with News Corp. Late last year, the Associated Press reported that the News Corp.-owned network, Fox, argued that its customer service reps at Cablevision Systems Corp were making false claims about the company as they tried to persuade subscribers not to jump to competing TV services. Fox has been flatlined for Cablevision subscribers since Oct. 16. The companies continue to dispute how much Cablevision should have to pay to carry Fox on its lineup.

According to the AP, Fox also claims that Cablevision has been directing its customers to websites that carry Fox shows in violation of copyright laws. In turn, Cablevision is accusing Fox of trying to distract from the blackout, which may now cut into the World Series games. In the end, Cablevision subscribers were without Fox programming for two weeks.

Cablevision President and CEO James L. Dolan commented in a statement: “Cablevision’s growth continued in the fourth quarter and contributed to solid full-year increases in revenue and AOCF. In 2010, Cablevision generated more than $855 million in free cash flow, a 13 percent increase compared to 2009.”  

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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