Operator added high-speed data subscribers last quarter

Time Warner Cable, the first operator at bat this earnings season, lost video subscribers last quarter but hooked up lots of consumers to the Web as high-speed Internet drove the company’s business.

Earnings jumped 18% to $382 million for the three months ended in March. Revenue rose 6.4% to $5.1 billion.

Time Warner ended the quarter with about 12.5 million video subs, a net loss of 94,000. That excludes the acquisition last summer of smaller cabler Insight Communications.

“Video continues to be a soft spot,” acknowledged CEO Glenn Britt during a conference call.

But revenue from high-speed data grew 9.6% to $1.2 billion as subs and pricing both rose. It added 214,000 high-speed customers. Britt said the company’s gaining traction in its effort to sell high-speed service as a single play — without video or voice. The video subs that fell off, he said, were mostly single-play.

That said, he announced that the company will be adding 1,000 new staffers to its sales team.

Britt claimed the cabler is taking share in the high-speed market against telcos. AT&T’s U-verse crosses 25% of Time Warner’s footprint, and Verizon FiOs has an 11% overlap.

Operating expenses rose 6% on higher programming costs.

Revenue at the business services division, while still a small piece of the company, surged 37% to $429 million.

DVR net ads of 92,000 were the best in two years, driven by triple-play promotions, Britt said.

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