Boxing deals blow to PPV

Cable giant Cox Communications Inc. reported solid earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal year.

For the quarter ending June 30, revenues were up 10% to $398 million from $362 million a year ago. Total cable revenues for the second quarter of 1998 increased 8% to $387 million compared to the same period in 1997.

Cox said its customer growth was 2.3% compared to the prior year. It now has more than 3 million basic cable subscribers.

Complete basic revenues for the second quarter of 1998 increased 11% over the comparable period in 1997 to $291 million primarily due to customer growth.

Pay-per-view revenues for the second quarter of 1998, however, were down 48% to $8.0 million primarily as a result of the Tyson/Holyfield boxing event in 1997. Advertising revenues increased 30% to $33.4 million due to growth in local, national and political advertising sales during 1998.

Data revenues for the second quarter of 1998 were $4.0 million primarily as a result of Cox’s residential data service, Cox@Home, which as of June 30, 1998, had launched in seven markets with 1,759,182 “data ready” homes passed and had 34,263 customers.

Telephony revenues for the second quarter of 1998 increased to $6.6 million from $3.2 million primarily due to growth in the commercial telephony business.

Jim Robbins, president and chief executive officer, said the company’s newest service, Cox Digital TV, this week reached the 30,000-customer milestone. With its launch last week in Providence, Rhode Island, Cox Digital TV is now available to more than 1.5 million homes in six markets nationwide.

Cox Communications owns and operates 18 cable TV systems in about 15 states. Cox also has interests in TV programming networks and offers other services that use its cable network, including cellular phone service and high-speed cable-based Internet service.

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