Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Comcast Sees Growth in VOD & Premium Services, Tops 8 Million Broadband Users

Citing strong consumer demand for new digital features including Comcast ON DEMAND, HDTV programming and digital video recorders (DVRs), Comcast Cable reported revenue of $5.3 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2005, representing a 9.8% increase from the third quarter of 2004. Video revenue increased $184 million or 5.7% to $3.4 billion in the third quarter of 2005, driven by higher monthly revenue per basic subscriber and a 12.4% increase in the number of digital customers. Comcast Cable added 307,000 new digital customers in the third quarter of 2005 and with more than 9.4 million subscribers, digital cable penetration reached 44.1% of basic subscribers. Basic subscribers are essentially unchanged at 21.4 million, a modest decline of 0.4% from one year ago.


VOD and HDTV: Pay-per- view revenues increased 7.9% from the same period last year driven by movie and event purchases through the Comcast ON DEMAND service. During the third quarter, Comcast Cable deployed 326,000 advanced set-top boxes with DVR and/or HDTV programming capability, ending the quarter with a total of 2.3 million advanced set-top boxes in service. At September 30, 2005, 21.8% of digital customers have one or more advanced set-top boxes.


Broadband:: Comcast High-Speed Internet service revenues increased 26.1% to $1.0 billion in the third quarter of 2005, reflecting a 24.2% increase in subscribers and strong average revenue per subscriber. Comcast Cable ended the third quarter of 2005 with more than 8.1 million high-speed Internet subscribers, adding 437,000 subscribers during the quarter and resulting in a penetration rate of 19.9% of available homes. Average monthly revenue per high-speed Internet subscriber in the third quarter of 2005 of $42.88 was in line with a year ago.


Telephony: Comcast Cable added 46,000 Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) customers, reflecting the rollout of CDV in new markets including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Baltimore and Denver. As expected, CDV customer additions were offset by a decline in the number of Comcast's circuit-switched telephone customers as Comcast transitions to marketing Comcast Digital Voice. As a result, Comcast Cable reported 12,000 net new phone customers in the third quarter of 2005. Cable phone revenue remained relatively unchanged from the third quarter of the prior year at $171 million.


Advertising: Advertising revenue for the third quarter of 2005 increased 4.5% to $333 million, reflecting growth of 2.9% in local advertising and growth of 11.8% in regional/national advertising.


Cable CAPEX: Cable capital expenditures increased 3.2% to $899 million compared to the $871 million in the third quarter of 2004 reflecting increased purchases of digital set-top boxes to meet strong demand for digital services and higher costs associated with readiness and deployment of CDV.


Including its content and other divisions, Comcast reported consolidated revenues of $5.6 billion, a 9.4% increase from the $5.1 billion reported in the same period of 2004. Consolidated Operating Cash Flow increased to $2.1 billion or 12.9%, in the third quarter of 2005, from the $1.9 billion reported in the same prior year period. Operating income increased to $883 million in the third quarter of 2005 compared to operating income of $686 million in the third quarter of 2004.


Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, commented: "Last month, we delivered our 1 billionth ON DEMAND program this year. Comcast High-Speed Internet exceeded $1 billion in revenue this quarter and at 20% penetration, we believe this business has significant growth potential. Comcast Digital Voice service is now available to 12 million households in 21 markets. The rollout of this new service is just getting started, and we expect Comcast Digital Voice to be another meaningful driver of growth for years to come."http//www.comcast.com

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