November 9, 2007
360AM: ESPN Scores for Disney; Charter Gains Video, Broadband, Phone Subs, and Loses Money
News about Disney, Cablevision, Charter, Sioux Valley Wireless and Star Trek, and other items.
By Steve Goldstein
Cable360AM — News briefing for Friday, Nov. 9 »
It's Hawaiian Shirt Day in the Cable360 newsroom. Good morning.
In its fourth-quarter earnings report, the Walt Disney Co. reported “net income of $877 million, or 44 cents a share, a 12% increase from $782 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier,” according to the New York Times. Affiliate licensing revenue and advertising at ESPN gave the company its biggest boost. Operating income rose 25% to $1.1 billion at Disney’s cable networks. [New York Times, Wall Street Journal]
The Wall Street Journal cites a 17% jump in unit revenue at Cablevision Systems’ cable channels as the highlight in the company’s third-quarter earnings report. Cablevision’s Rainbow Media programming subsidiary runs AMC, IFC, WE tv and Voom HD Networks, among other brands. [Wall Street Journal]
Cable operator Charter Communications suffered a quarterly net loss of $407 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with a loss of $133 million, or 41 cents a share, in the same period last year, the Journal reports. The digital video unit posted an addition of 15,500 video subscribers from the previous quarter and big jumps in broadband and phone revenue. However, this was offset by debt concerns and “higher expansion and programming costs.” [Wall Street Journal]
South Dakota-based cable operator Sioux Valley Wireless is ending its cable service, reports Keloland.com. In a letter to its cable TV subscribers in 15 counties in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, the company said it was planning to become a Wi-Max provider. Sioux Valley subscribers will continue to get TV service through the middle of 2008. [Keloland.com]
The Register reports that some Verizon FiOS high-speed customers have claimed that when they type incorrect Web addresses, Verizon “hijacks” their browsers and sends them to specific ad-driven search pages. [The Register]
AT&T lowered its estimates on how many U-verse customers it will have by the end of 2008, according to IPTV News. [IPTV News]
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution renewed The Martha Stewart Show.
Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” ride is being renovated to accommodate large visitors to the theme park. Boats have been getting stuck in the 41-year-old ride, so more depth will be added to the water channel. [Los Angeles Times]
Nicole LaPorte reports in the L.A. Times that public work spaces and cafes in Los Angeles have emptied out in the wake of the writers' strike. [Los Angeles Times]
Winona Ryder will play Spock’s mother in the next Star Trek feature film. JJ Abrams is directing the movie about the “Starfleet Academy days of the crew of the Starship Enterprise.” [Variety]
In CableFAX Daily: More on Cablevision’s and Charter’s third-quarter earnings.
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