Comcast’s [CMCSA] position atop the cable industry was solidified last week as its impressive 4Q results buoyed the entire business for a couple of days, setting off a love fest on Wall St not seen in more than a year. (Witness the title of Jessica Reif Cohen’s report: "Basically – The Outlook Appears Great"). Every MSO except for Charter [CHTR] jumped at least 5% from Wed’s close to Fri’s close. Comcast set the pace, gaining $2.72 (+10%). AOLTW [AOL] was the other big 2-day gainer, jumping 10% (+$1.05). Up 5%: Cox [COX] (+$1.42), Cablevision [CVC] (+87 cents), Insight [ICCI] (+ 54 cents) and Mediacom (+ 39 cents). Reif Cohen raised Comcast’s ’03 free-cash-flow estimate to $515mln (22 cents) from $85mln (4 cents). Banc of America’s Doug Shapiro was equally optimistic: "Every indication so far is that Comcast couldn’t have handled the first 100 days of the integration much better." Blaylock’s Mark Zadell raised Comcast to "buy" from "hold." A note of caution: CIBC’s Alan Bezoza reserved judgement, saying he lacked data on sub retention programs and voice sub losses.

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Some Operators Ending QAM Video, Forcing IPTV Switch

While many consumers are choosing to drop traditional cable video service, a few operators, including Cable One and GCI, are giving them a push to IP video.

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