After a lengthy slide dating to last summer, major cable stocks have rebounded nicely since most hit 52-week nadirs earlier this year—and Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif-Cohen says the trend will continue throughout ’08. "We believe cable is a safe haven in this environment," said Reif-Cohen of a struggling US economy at the company’s London conference Thurs. "We anticipate increasing market share in voice and data for all of the large cable ops." The forecast led appearances by Comcast svp, investor relations Marlene Dooner and Time Warner Cable CFO Rob Marcus, who both explained why they agree with Reif-Cohen’s assessment. In short: non-video services. For Comcast, such services now represent 65% of rev growth and are growing at twice the rate of video, said Dooner. The MSO’s strategy of offering multiple broadband speed tiers has worked well, she said. Two-thirds of customers interested in Comcast’s economy tier are deciding to take its flagship service instead, and more customers are adopting the MSO’s high-end "blast" service than the economy alternative. And, she said, Comcast is "capturing market share from DSL at an accelerating pace." 68% of 1Q gross HSD adds came from DSL, up from 38% in 1Q06. Time Warner has recently focused on multiple speeds as well, and its premium product is "flying off the shelves," said Marcus, who estimates that 65-70% of the MSO’s HSD subs are coming from DSL. And with respect to phone, penetration of which averages 13% across its footprint, Time Warner hasn’t "approached anything nearing a ceiling," he said. Both execs continue to see tremendous upside in the SMB market. Time Warner only launched commercial voice services this year, leaving ample room for improvement, and Comcast has seen 70% of new commercial phone subs tack on data services. Bullishness also stems from the Sprint/Clearwire jv, which Marcus said offers important "flexibility" in wireless service offerings. Comcast and Time Warner will acquire an approx 7% and 4% stake, respectively, in the venture’s new company through their investments.

The Daily

Subscribe

Fox on Dropping TNF, the US Open

Fox Corp passed up on some big sports deals this year, but CEO Lachlan Murdoch seemed confident that was the right move at an investor conference Thursday. Murdoch said he was happy to let NBC take the US Open

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up

Calendar

Jun 10
The FAXIES Awards – Virtual CelebrationSave the Date! - June 10, 2021
Jul 16
Diversity List – 2021 Nominations Due: July 16, 2021
Sep 10
Most Powerful Women – 2021 Nominations Due: Sept 10, 2021
Dec 7
Most Powerful Women CelebrationSave the Date!
Full Calendar

Jobs

Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?
VIEW JOBS

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact John@cynopsis.com for more information.