Cablevision reports tepid earnings

Company growth mediocre in first quarter

After a bustling week in which it made an offer for Newsday and bought the Sundance Channel, Cablevision reported mediocre first-quarter earnings Thursday.

Revenue grew 10% to $1.7 billion, but net losses grew to $31.6 million from $26.3 million in the year-ago period.

The company’s core telecom unit, which includes the No. 4 U.S. cable system, saw revenue rise 11% to nearly $1.3 billion while profit jumped 39% to $257.3 million on net customer growth and lucrative bundling of services.

Seeking to further monetize its cable and telecom base, execs also announced plans to build a wireless broadband network that would cost no more than $100 per customer. The move, using “mesh” technology, follows similar plans by Comcast and Time Warner Cable to team with telcos on Wi-Max nationwide networks.

Among other units, Madison Square Garden (which includes the Knicks and Rangers basketball and hockey teams) recorded a $19.7 million loss, far wider than $4.6 million of a year ago. The company cited higher costs for staging events as well as “certain team personnel transactions.”

Cablevision shares were down about a dime to $23.64 in midday trading.

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