In its second quarter 2009 earnings report today, Comcast announced that its revenues grew 4.5 percent. The shining star was business services, with revenue growth of 51 percent during the quarter. The company also announced a couple of new initiatives, including a wireless phone with applications.

On the financial side, video revenue grew 2 percent in the second quarter, even with a loss of 214,000 video subs. The revenue growth came from rate increases and growth in digital and advanced services.

High-speed Internet revenue grew 8 percent, but subscriber additions were only at 65,000, compared to approximately 300,000 additions in the first quarter.

Voice revenue grew at 25 percent, with the addition of 233,000 customers. Together with the 51 percent growth in business services revenues, the voice additions helped offset a 20 percent decrease in local cable advertising.

"The combination of a weak economy and increasing competition does continue to translate into slower growth in new customer additions," said Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast. "Our high speed Internet net adds in particular were disappointing."

"RBOCs have overbuilt 28 percent of our footprint, and they and satellite were very aggressive during the quarter," added Steve Burke, Comcast’s COO.

The company continues to spend less in 2009 on capital expenditures than in 2008. But it is deploying large numbers of consumer premise equipment (CPE) devices.

"During the second quarter, we deployed 1.9 million digital set-top boxes and adapters,” Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis said. “We deployed approximately 340,000 advanced high-definition (HD) and/or DVR set-tops."

Wireless and business initiatives

Comcast has announced a lot of new initiatives recently, including its "TV Everywhere" trial (click here); applications for the iPhone/iPod Touch (click here); and mobile wireless High-Speed 2go (click here). Apparently, the company is pushing forward with more innovation on the application front.

"We’re testing and will soon launch an enhanced cordless telephone that allows you to check your Comcast.net e-mail, without turning on your computer, to synchronize your address book, read the latest news, weather and sports – all from your home phone," said Burke.

He also said the company will announce another application for apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch to allow subs to program their DVRs.

"In the near future we’ll be launching converged wireless applications on the Blackberry and other devices," said Burke. "Between our 4G launch and our Comcast mobile apps, you’re starting to see us flesh out our wireless strategy."

Finally, in terms of its commercial business, Burke said, "This business is firing on all cylinders. We’re expanding our cell-backhaul operations and now have agreements with wireless carriers contracted for over 2,000 towers."

–Linda Hardesty

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