Financially, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) had a pretty solid quarter as profits and revenues edged up nicely, while advertising dollars at were up double digits both in general and at its soon-to-be-spun-off Rainbow programming division. However, Newsday, the Long Island paper it acquired from Tribune Company nearly three years ago, has continued to report unspecified revenue declines.
Some highlights from the quarter:
— Cable Television first quarter 2011 net revenues increased 10.7 percent, while cable advertising grew 16.1 percent. In general cable advertising is up across the board and Cablevision’s clearly benefiting from those industrywide trends, especially as it continues to expand its interactive advertising.
— Rainbow, which will be called AMC Networks once its spun off, posted ad revenue gains of 14.9 percent.
— Total Cablevision customers were flat, as video subs declined 0.2 percent as the number of homes signing up for high speed data inched up 1.1 percent. It
doesn’t necessarily probably doesn’t mean cord-cutting is going on, but it’s hard to ignore the disparity between those two segments. Though as the company explains, it’s the economy that’s having more of an effect, particularly in lower-income neighborhoods, where unemployment tends to be higher and the real estate market is bleak.
— Newsday falls into the “other” category, and its specific results were not broken out. The newspaper has had a string of declines even before it was acquired in May 2008 for over $600 million. The “other” segment includes News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity, Clearview Cinemas, Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, and it posted a 7.4 percent decline in revenues.