In the third quarter, Time Warner Cable says it saw its basic video subscriber numbers decrease by 83,000, with 66,000 of that decline coming from the Dallas and Los Angeles markets, where competition from rivals has heated up. Analysts and investors were expecting user losses of about 50,000.
Failure of cable companies to convert basic video customers into subscribers of multiple digital services like phone and Net access has been exposed as a big vulnerability as players duke it out with so-called triple play offers.
A good measure of how effective cable companies are at selling more services is the revenue generating units number. In the third quarter, Time Warner Cable added 522,000 RGUs, which is down sequentially from the 546,000 mark in the second quarter.Strong promotion of high-definition programming by satellite broadcasters DirecTV (DTV - Get Report) and EchoStar (DISH - Get Report) along with the entry of phone companies like AT&T (T - Get Report) and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) in the video market has helped