Cablevision ( CVC) narrowed its first-quarter loss on a 8% increase in revenue, driven by solid results in its high-speed data and telecommunications offerings to business. The company backed off an EBITDA forecast at its cable unit, however.

The company lost $140.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on revenue of $982.2 million in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $249.6 million, or 87 cents a share, on revenue of $911.2 million last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on an adjusted basis were $299.2 million in the first quarter, up from $220.1 million last year.

Cablevision had a $418 million loss on investments and a $296 million gain from derivatives in the year-ago quarter. The comparable items were much smaller in the latest quarter.

In two key growth areas the company reported solid progress. Customers of its digital video services rose by 184,900 to 401,400, while high-speed data customers rose by 83,700 to 852,800.

In its telecommunications services unit, which comprises the company's cable and telecom offerings, revenue rose 6% to $633 million.

But the company said adjusted EBITDA in the unit is now expected to rise 16% and 18% in 2003, not the 18% to 20% it previously forecast It cited higher programming costs related to a cable network that broadcasts New York Yankees baseball games.

At its Rainbow Media unit, which includes cable stations including AMC, IFC, WE: Women's Entertainment and regional sports, net revenues rose 19% to $139.8 million and operating income rose 50% to $49.7 million.

At Madison Square Garden, which includes MSG Network, Fox Sports Net New York, the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, the New York Liberty, first quarter 2003 net revenue totaled $208.4 million, unchanged from last year, while the operating loss narrowed to $1.8 million from $3.5 million.

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