Carrier taunts Verizon in earnings conference call...
Cablevision has released their second quarter earnings
, reporting income of $87 million, down 8% from $94 million one year ago. Revenue for the company rose 9 percent to $1 billion. As most expected, Cablevision announced they'd be spinning off their Madison Square Garden unit into a separate business. While the company lost 8,700 basic cable subscribers during the quarter, it added 56,000 digital TV customers, 18,000 new broadband customers, and 38,000 VoIP customers, meeting most Wall Street estimates.
Cablevision's spending $300 million to deploy both Wi-Fi and DOCSIS 3.0 across their entire footprint. In response, Verizon this week also started offering free Wi-Fi
. In a conference call with analysts, Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge took a shot at Verizon's marketing inconsistencies in recent weeks.
"Verizon is a me-too kind of product," said Rutledge. "What we do, they tend to do," says the COO. "When we did announce Wi-Fi, they described it as a parlor trick, so I'm surprised that they are actually going forward with it," he says. Technically, Verizon called Cablevision's Wi-Fi a "marketing stunt
" and their new, 101Mbps broadband service a "parlor trick
," but we're nit picking.
According to the COO, customers have accessed the Internet more than 3 million times since the Wi-Fi project's inception, and the number of cumulative sessions have jumped by 50% in the last 45 days. Interestingly, Rutledge also said said putting a voice product on top of the Wi-Fi network was "inevitable." In April
, Cablevision unveiled a 101Mbps/15Mbps tier for $99.95 a month, though it annoyingly features a $300 "activation fee"
" in addition to
a $35 installation fee. In contrast, Verizon's fastest service tier is 50Mbps/20Mbps, which costs $134.95 when bundled with a phone line, and $144.95 without. Since FiOS appeared in 2005 Cablevision's still seen gains, adding 108,000 TV, 1.5 million broadband, and 1.6 million VoIP users during that time. Verizon's push into NYC apartments may change that
Rutledge also touched on the company's recent court victory
that will allow Cablevision to move forward with their network DVR. There's been some hints
that Cablevision's negotiations with the entertainment industry may result in a less useful product. "We believe in copyrights," says Rutledge. "We think that digital rights management is our responsibility and then ultimately the value that we create for customers comes from rights structures," he says. "We are eager and willing to work with content providers to build products."