Charter Earnings Rise Despite Loss of 320,000 Video Subs

Charter Communications logo on a wall
(Image credit: Charter)

Charter Communications reported higher third-quarter earnings, but its fee dispute with The Walt Disney Co. resulted in a loss of video customers.

Unlike Comcast, whose stock sunk yesterday as it lost residential broadband subscribers, Charter said it added 57,000 internet customers. It also added 6,000 small and midsized business broadband customers.

Cord-cutting continued to eat into Charter’s video business, with 320,000 customers dropping cable TV, leaving it with 13.8 million Spectrum residential video subscribers. The company said the blackout of programming from The Walt Disney Co. was responsible for about 100,000 of those losses.

Also Read: CEO Chris Winfrey Says Charter Wants More Deals Like Disney’s

Third-quarter net income was $1.3 billion, of $8.42 per share, up from $1.2 billion, or $7.51 a share, a year ago. 

Revenue rose 0.2% to $13.6 billion.

Programming costs were down 9.6% to $276 million, including a $61 million benefit resulting from the temporary loss of Disney programming during the September blackout.

Video revenue fell 8.6% to $4 billion. Third-quarter residential internet revenue increased 3.7%.

Charter added 577,000 residential mobile lines, an acceleration from last year’s 382,000 additions. Revenue from mobile rose 33.8% to $581 million.

“We continue to make significant progress against the multi-year strategic initiatives we outlined last year,” CEO Chris Winfrey said. “These initiatives drive continuing improvements in the quality of our products, and when combined with our customer-friendly pricing and packaging and high-quality service, will drive significant, long-term growth in shareholder value.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.