You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Time Warner Cable profits jump

Revenue grew 4% to $5 billion

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt called the market for residential services “increasingly bifurcated,” with one group of customers increasingly price conscious and another insisting on top-tier service. But traditional linear television isn’t going away any time soon, he insisted Thursday.

Meanwhile, the drumbeat of pressure from rivals like Verizon and AT&T is steady but “manageable,” he said during a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter earnings. He noted that FiOS — a big competitor in Time Warner Cable’s New York City and upstate New York stomping ground — ramped up its marketing aggressively in the fourth quarter as it rolled out triple-play service.

TW Cable’s net profit jumped to $564 million last quarter from $392 million the year before. Revenue grew 4% to $5 billion. The cabler lost 129,000 video subscribers but offset that by adding others in high-speed data and voice, ending the year with 14.5 million customers.

The company said it returned $3.3 billion to shareholders in 2011 through share buybacks and dividends and announced a $4 billion share repurchase program. That and solid numbers boosted the stock, which was up 7% in mid-day trading at $74.

FiOS may be benefiting from a carriage dispute between TW Cable and MSG Networks that has yanked Knicks, Rangers and Devils games off Time Warner systems since Jan. 1. Britt didn’t discuss the spat on the call. A person close to the situation said Thursday that talks are ongoing but there is no meaningful progress.

About 1.3 million of Time Warner’s subs are in the New York area. Britt said FiOS overlaps with 12% of Time Warner’s footprint nationwide. “They are strong competitors, but we think we are up to the task. It is manageable relative to the size the business,” he said.

As they battle, the two companies are also partners. TW Cable recently sold Verizon unused spectrum and will be rolling out a wireless offering through the telco as part of a wide-ranging alliance.

TW Cable said residential-services revenues increased 2.6% year over year to $4.3 billion; video revenue was flat, offset by growth in high-speed data and phone service.

Business services revenues grew 37% to $409 million.

Advertising revenue decreased 10% to $242 million primarily as a result of a year-over-year decline in political advertising revenues. Hefty spending on key congressional races marked the fourth-quarter of 2010.

Britt downplayed doom and gloom reports of a cable biz threatened by streaming services direct to customers’ TVs. “We certainly pay attention to that,” he said, but TW Cable hasn’t seen an impact on video subscriptions.

Britt said most Americans keep the TV on for many hours a day and still like “linear” programming. Referring to cord cutters, he said: “There are people who do not watch TV very much and are quite satisfied to watch a few shows every now and then. We all know a lot of these people, and that effects our perception of the mass market,” he said.

Cable operators have generally been raising rates to respond to higher programming costs but Britt said, “It’s not an across-the-board thing…we have a wide array or products and we price it market by market” based on what the market will bear.

More TV

  • China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With

    China’s ‘Boonie Bears’ Reach Korea With Animated Series and Movie

    Two seasons of the hit Chinese animation series “Boonie Bears” have been licensed for release in South Korea. The deal was struck by animation studio Fantawild with content distributor Media to Media. The broker has acquired IPTV and VoD rights to “Boonie Bears: Four Seasons,” and “Sunsational Summer and Snow Daze,” a total of 104 [...]

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

  • 'Brexit' Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Stars in

    TV Review: HBO's 'Brexit'

    The announcement of the film “Brexit” — which aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 before its HBO bow on Jan. 19 — engendered serious criticism from the British, and understandably so. The film, which looks at recent history in the manner HBO productions like “Game Change” and “Recount” had done, takes on a story whose very [...]

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content