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Brazil’s Globo shows sub growth, rev fall

Programming costs, inflation and sales expenses gang up on pay TV giant

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s largest pay TV operator, Globo Cabo, has recovered from last year’s crisis, but cash flow has shrunk and subscriber base is only growing slowly, according to its second quarter report and analysts.

Globo Cabo reported $109 million in subscription revenues in the second quarter compared to $106 million in the first quarter of this year and $107 million in the second quarter of 1999.

Revenues before depreciation, taxes and financial expenses fell to $23 million in the second quarter of this year from $23.5 million in the first quarter and $29 million a year ago.

Bear Stearns analyst Chris Recouso attributed that decline to programming costs, inflation and sales expenses associated with the introduction of a lower-priced basic tier.

Subscriber base growing

The subscriber base rose slightly to 1.042 million from 1.025 million in the first quarter of 2000 and 1.004 million in the second quarter of 1999.

Globo Cabo’s churn rate has fallen significantly to 15% in the second quarter from 25% in the year earlier period.

And more subscribers are paying for premium cable: 54% have the premium Advanced service, versus 44% a year ago.

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