Canada: Bell’s Q3 “transformation as a competitive force”

BCE, Canada’s largest communications company, has reported BCE and Bell results for the third quarter of 2013. Bell Fibe TV saw net customer activations of 72,813, 69.4 per cent higher year over year, as service footprint expands to more than 4 million households; high-speed Internet net activations were at 36,638 – the company’s best quarterly performance in over 6 years; residential local access line losses improve 30.3 per cent.

Bell Mobile TV welcomed its one millionth subscriber during the quarter. Mobile TV offers on-the-go access to live and on-demand sports, news, entertainment and children’s TV programming. Additionally, the Bell TV app enables customers to access 70 more live and on-demand channels on their smartphones and tablets.

Bell Fibe TV customer acquisition accelerated this quarter with the addition of 72,813 net new subscribers, up 69.4% compared to Q3 2012. The ongoing expansion of our Fibe TV service footprint and the introduction in May of exclusive wireless receivers contributed to stronger customer demand for Fibe TV this quarter. At the end of Q3 2013, Bell Fibe TV subscribers totalled 419,129, more than double the 200,064 subscribers at the end of Q3 2012.

With the continued expansion of our Fibe TV footprint in communities across Ontario and Québec (including expansion to Ottawa in the quarter), Bell’s IPTV footprint reached approximately 4.1 million households, up from 2.9 million households at the end of Q3 2012.

Total Bell Satellite TV net customer losses improved 3.7% this quarter to 26,128, reflecting fewer customer deactivations.

Combined Bell Fibe TV and Satellite TV net additions almost tripled in the quarter compared to last year, increasing to 46,685 from 15,846. Bell TV’s subscriber base totalled 2,242,244 at the end of Q3 2013, representing a 4.9% increase over the past year.

Bell high-speed Internet net subscriber additions were 36,638, compared to 13,416 in Q3 2012, the best quarterly performance in more than 6 years. This reflects the pull-through of Bell Fibe TV customer activations, a higher number of student activations during the back-to-school period, as well as increased business customer activations. Bell total high-speed Internet subscribers reached 2,157,713, up 2.4% since the end of Q3 2012.

“Bell’s industry-leading investments in new broadband network infrastructure are driving our TV, wireless, Internet and media growth services, fuelling a $183 million, or 5.3 per cent, year-over-year revenue increase in Q3 growth services. Key to Bell’s transformation as a competitive force in Canadian communications, these growth services now make up 82 per cent of Bell’s revenue base, while traditional home phone service accounts for just 8 per cent,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE. “We’ve seen exceptional growth in smartphone adoption and data growth even as we implemented the new federal wireless code, market-leading results at Bell Media enhanced by the addition of the Astral team, and our best performance in residential wireline services since 2005 as the popularity of Bell Fibe TV and Internet continues to accelerate. Our strategy to deliver the best communications services the world has to offer to Canadian consumers and business customers is supporting both Bell’s growing success in a competitive communications marketplace and solid financial performance.”

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