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Cablevision reports 2Q earnings

Cablevision Systems headquarters in Bethpage. In a quarterly

Cablevision Systems headquarters in Bethpage. In a quarterly report Aug. 7, 2012, the company said it stemmed the loss of its TV subscribers. Credit: Bloomberg News, 2005

Cablevision Systems Corp. reports it  has stemmed the loss of TV subscribers for the second quarter in a row, at the cost of holding its prices steady.

Cable companies have posted TV subscriber losses for years, as households switch to satellite or phone-company TV services. Bethpage-based Cablevision has particularly tough competition from Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS service in the New York suburbs.

But Cablevision, which owns Newsday, said Tuesday that it held the number of TV subscribers steady at 3.3 million in the second quarter. It’s typically a weak period for cable because college students cancel cable ahead of summer break and others cancel as they move to summer homes.

Its larger peer Time Warner Cable Inc., which serves other parts of New York, lost a record 169,000 subscribers in the quarter.
In the first quarter, Cablevision gained a net 7,000 customers.

Cablevision announced in February that it would forego its annual TV subscription price increase this year and boost investments in its systems in an effort to regain customers. That sent its shares diving.

Cablevision’s financial results were also steady compared to last year when excluding the effect of last summer’s spin-off of AMC Networks Inc., a collection of cable channels.

The company earned $63.5 million, or 24 cents per share, for the April to June period. That was down from $87.8 million, or 32 cents per share last year.

Excluding the earnings from AMC last year, earnings were down a penny per share. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting earnings of 19 cents per share.

Revenue was $1.70 billion, up 0.5 percent from last year, excluding the contributions from AMC Networks. Analysts were expecting $1.69 billion.

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