What a way to start cable’s reporting season: Comcast presented drool-worthy 1Q stats that sent shares up more than 4%. But we were most intrigued by the MSO’s hints about what’s to come, particularly with HSD. "We have a very interesting technical implementation that’s going to allow us to increase speed in a way we’ve never done before," Steve Burke boasted. Corporate wouldn’t provide more details, but we expect that this is where Comcast’s recently trademarked "PowerBoost" for HSD will come into play. It’s looking more certain that cable’s speed is trumping RBOCs’ deep discounts. The evidence? 34% of Comcast’s 437K HSD adds came from DSL (or, as many as Comcast gets from AOL narrowband). Comcast brass also was bullish on commercial services, a high-growth area where Comcast has been notably behind other MSOs. Comcast will assemble a sr mgmt team for commercial services during the 2nd half of ’06. Good Growth: Brian Roberts identified new product growth as a big headline for 1Q. Comcast set a record by adding 965K RGUs. It added 46K basic subs, reversing its 1Q05 basic sub loss. Digital adds totaled 340K. VoIP beat analyst estimates (+211K customers). Cable cash flow growth was 12% and mgmt reaffirmed ’06 guidance of 10%-11% cash flow growth. Comcast earned $466mln vs $143mln a year ago, with operating income increasing 21% to $1.05bln. Revenue rose 10% to $5.9mln. Other interesting metrics: total analog-only customers have dropped to 8mln from 10mln a year ago; it added 384K advanced set-tops during the Q; it added an avg of 15,385 phone subs/week, and is having some weeks this Q with around 20K adds.

The Daily


Turner Strikes MLB Deal Extension

Turner Sports re-upped its rights deal with Major League Baseball, signing a seven-year deal valued at nearly $3.75bln.

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