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Cox: It’s Not All About Video

Cox Communications said Tuesday that it has about 432,000 nonvideo subscribers through the first nine months of the year, a 21% year-over-year increase -- the result of its efforts to sign on telephone- and high-speed-Internet-only subscribers.

Cox did not reveal how many nonvideo customers it added in the period, nor did it release sequential quarterly growth figures for nonvideo customers -- the usual yardstick for subscriber growth.

But in a press release, president Patrick Esser said the accelerated growth of Cox’s nonvideo subscribers is a direct result of efforts -- dubbed “a line into every home” -- to sign on as many customers as possible within its cable footprint.

Cox is the fourth-largest cable operator in the country, with about 5.4 million basic-video subscribers. The Atlanta-based cable company passes about 9.2 million homes within its footprint.

“We’re pursuing business out of every home passed, even if that home is only interested in telephone service, or perhaps values their connection to the Internet more highly than a multichannel-video service,” Esser said in a prepared statement.

Cox said basic-video subscribers rose by 1.6% in the third quarter and digital-cable customers rose by 14% compared with the same period last year.

Cox ended the third quarter with more than 3.3 million bundled customers, representing 57% of total residential customers and 16% growth over the same period a year ago. About 24% of customers elect to take all three services from Cox. Bundled sell-in continues to improve, with 18% of new customers opting for the triple play of video, voice and data. In Cox's most mature bundled markets, triple-play sell-in has exceeded 30% of new subscribers.