The US cable results season continues to confirm the establishment’s decline as a result of recession and competition. Comcast’s third-quarter earnings revealed the loss of 275,000 basic cable television subscribers.
The losses were greater than most analysts expected, but Comcast, which is on the verge of acquiring NBC Universal, was able to exceed Wall Street’s earnings and revenue forecasts because it added high-speed Internet and voice customers, and charged its television customers more.
The ARPU Comcast is now $129.75 a month, up from $107.20 in 2008.
Over all, the company reported net income of $867 million, down from $944 million a year ago. Some of the decline was because of higher expenses related to the acquisition of NBC Universal, which executives said was expected to win regulatory approval by the end of the year. Revenue in the quarter grew 7.3 percent, to $9.5 billion.
Comcast executives said the subscriber losses did not reflect cord-cutting instead they blamed the weak economy for the losses.