Q3 Video Losses Improve at Altice USA

Altice USA, the U.S. cable arm of Dutch telecom company Altice N.V., improved its video subscriber losses in the third quarter, while increasing revenue and cash flow by near record numbers.

Altice USA shed about 40,000 pay TV customers in the third quarter, an improvement over the 42,000 it lost in the prior year. The biggest improvement was at its Optimum unit – the former Cablevision Systems – which lost 28,000 pay TV customers compared to 33,000 in 2015. At its Suddenlink unit, pay TV losses reached 10,000, slightly ahead of the 9,000 it shed in the prior year.

Broadband additions for the period were flat at Optimum and 17,000 for Suddenlink.   

Overall revenue at the U.S operation was up 2.7% at Optimum, its best Q3 since 2014, and rose 6.7% at Suddenlink. Cash flow increased 33% at the Optimum unit and 20% at Suddenlink in the period.

Altice N.V. purchased Suddenlink in December 2015 and Cablevision in June 2016.  The company said its integration plans are going as expected, with the focus at Suddenlink on customer retention and reducing churn. At the Optimum systems, the percentage of customers taking high-speed data service over 100 Megabits per second increased to 40% in the period from 13% in the second quarter, following its network upgrade to offer speeds up to 300 Mbps across the footprint. 

“We are extremely pleased to see our focus on execution is paying off, delivering substantially better revenue and financial performance across all our major markets including US, France and Portugal,” Altice N.V. CEO Michel Combes said in a statement. “The efficiency savings we are achieving are fueling higher investment in infrastructure and content, and improving customer experience, which is now driving the growth of our business. Altice has fully transformed into a leading transatlantic, converged telecoms and media company and quarter after quarter we find ourselves in a stronger position.”