Cable TV

Q3-2015: Time Warner Cable - residential Internet data ascend, video slide; Business Services numbers up

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BENGALURU: The slide in retail or residential video numbers continues for the US television cable industry, if one were to go by the numbers reported by Comcast Cable Communications division and now by Time Warner Cable Inc., (TWC) for the quarter ended 30 September, 2015 (Q3-2015). Data, or more specifically high speed data continues its juggernaut, climbing YoY and QoQ.  The company’s Business Services segment reported increase in numbers across all parameters.

TWC’s consolidated revenue in the current quarter increased 3.6 per cent (increased by $208 million) to $5922 million from $5714 million in Q3-2014, but declined marginally (declined by 0.1 per cent or $4 million) from $5926 million in the immediate trailing quarter.

Note: 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10 million = 1 crore

Subscription numbers have been mentioned in lakhs and revenue and other financial numbers in millions of US dollars.

Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Rob Marcus said, “I’m very excited about the operating momentum reflected in our third-quarter results. Subscriber growth was the strongest in years; revenue growth accelerated; and we continued to make significant investments in our network, equipment, products and customer service. Our ongoing transformation is a testament to the strength of our operating plan and the commitment of our entire team – all 55,000 employees – who work tirelessly every day to make Time Warner Cable an even better company.”

Residential numbers

Customer relationships

For Q3-2015, TWC has reported amongst the best subscriber numbers over a long time, and this improvement is reflected by the low drop in video numbers of only 7000 that the company has reported. Residential High Speed Internet Data (Data) and Voice customers have both increased YoY and QoQ basis. Voice has shown the largest YoY and QoQ growth in terms of number of subscribers as well as in percentage terms.  

Overall, TWC’s total customer relationships (including business services) increased 3.3 per cent (increased by 472,000) in Q3-2015 to 156.63 lakh from 151.31 lakh in Q3-2015 and by 1.1 per cent (increased by 163,000) from 155 lakh in the previous quarter. Please refer to Fig A below.

Residential or retail customer relationships improved to an all-time high of 149.29 lakh in the current quarter as compared to the 144.57 lakh in Q3-2014 or the 147.82 lakh in the previous quarter.  

Business Services saw increase across all three plays, both YoY and QoQ. Business Services customer relationships increased 8.9 per cent (increased by 60,000) YoY to 734,000 in Q3-2015 from 674,000 in Q3-2014 and increased by 2.2 per cent (increased by 16,000) from 718,000 in Q2-2015.

Video Numbers

Please refer to Fig B below.

Video revenue declined 1.8 per cent (declined $44 million) YoY in Q3-2015 to $ 2453 million from $2497 million and declined 2.4 per cent from $2514 million in the immediate trailing quarter. Video customer relationships declined 0.6 YoY to 107.67 lakh from 108.27 lakh and declined QoQ from 107.74 lakh.

Within TWC’s Video segment, six products or sub-segments contribute to revenue. The major segment is Programming tiers, which contributed $1566 million or about 64 per cent to Video revenue and more than 26 per cent to TWC’s consolidated revenue in the current quarter. The other sub-segments are Premium networks ($216 million, about nine per cent of video revenue in Q3-2015); Transactional Video-on-demand ($45 million, about two per cent of video revenue in Q3-2015); Video equipment rental and installation charges ($362 million, about 15 per cent of Video revenue in Q3-2015); Digital video recorder service ($150 million, about six per cent of Video revenue for Q3-2015) and Franchisee and other fees ($114 million, about five per cent of Video revenue for Q3-2015).

Except for Premium tiers and Video equipment rental and installation charges, revenue from all the other sub-segments declined both YoY and QoQ. 

High Speed Internet (Data) numbers

Data revenue increased 9.4 per cent (increased $152 million) in the current quarter to $1772 million from $1620 million in Q3-2014 and increased 1.7 per cent (increased $30 million) from $1742 million in the immediate trailing quarter.

TWC’s Data customer relationships in the current quarter increased 7.7 per cent YoY to 123.94 lakh from 119.90 lakh and 1.9 per cent QoQ from 121.62 lakh, while voice customers increased 22.1 per cent YoY to 60.93 lakh in the current quarter from 49.89 lakh in Q3-2014 and by four per cent from 58.56 lakh in the previous quarter. Please refer to C below.

Voice Numbers

TWC’s Voice revenue increased 1.5 per cent (increased $7 million) to $483 million in the current quarter from $476 million in Q3-2014 and increased one per cent (increased by $5 million) in the immediate trailing quarter.

Voice subscribers increased 22.1 per cent (increased by 1,104,000) to 60.93 lakh in Q3-2015 from 49.89 lakh in Q3-2014 and increased four per cent (increased 237,000) from 58.56 lakh in Q2-2015.

Single Play, double play and triple play

The company’s residential single play customer relationships have been slowly increasing over time. Single play relationships in the current quarter increased by 0.6 per cent (35,000) to 57.09 lakh YoY from 56.74 lakh and by 0.9 per cent (50,000) from 56.59 lakh. Please refer to Fig D below.

Double play customers have been declining over time, with the decline steepening even further since Q3-2014. In the current quarter, double play customer declined YoY by double digits – 12.4 per cent (declined 585,000) to 41.14 lakh from 47 lakh and declined 2.9 per cent (declined 121,000) QoQ from 42.36 lakh.

Triple play customers have been increasing, the increase becoming more rapid since Q3-2014, indicating to an extent that double play customers were adding one more play, rather than the company losing double play customers, besides adding more new customers for residential triple play. Triple play customers in Q3-2015 increased 25 per cent (increased 1,022,000) to 51.05 lakh from 40.83 lakh in the corresponding year ago quarter and increased 4.5 per cent (increased 218,000) from 48.87 lakh in Q2-2015.

Business Services

While TWC’s Business services segment had only 4.7 per cent of TWC’s overall customer relationships, it contributed 14.1 per cent to TWC’s consolidated revenue. As a matter of fact, its contribution to TWC’s revenue has been increasing much faster than the increase in its customer relationship share in the overall pie. BS revenue in the current quarter increased 15.5 per cent (increased by $112 million) in Q3-2015 to $836 million (14.1 per cent of consolidated revenue from 4.7 per cent of overall customer relationships) from $724 million (12.7 per cent of consolidated revenue from 4.5 per cent of overall customer relationships) in the corresponding year ago quarter and increased 4.1 per cent (increased by $33 million) from $803 million (13.6 per cent of consolidated revenue from 4.6 per cent of overall customer relationships) in the immediate trailing quarter. Please refer to Fig E below.

Revenue from Business Services High Speed data was more than 4 times the revenue from Business services video sub-segment or product in Q3-2015.

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