Altice USA drops 37K pay TV users in Q2, grows residential HSI by only 18K users

Altice USA flag
Altice USA is about to roll out a new home video hub.

Altice USA followed its extraordinary $2.2 billion IPO with some fairly unremarkable customer metrics for the second quarter.

The U.S. arm of the European telecom conglomerate, formed a year ago after Altice NV closed on Cablevision, lost 37,000 pay-TV users in the second quarter—12,000 in the acquired Cablevision footprint (which Altice now calls “Optimum”) and 25,000 in its Suddenlink Communications terrain. 

These numbers were roughly flat with last year’s attrition and congruent with consensus forecast.

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“We’re cautiously optimistic that our business is not seeing degradation on the video side,” said Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei, speaking in a conference call for reporters the day before Altice NV’s formal earnings presentation on Friday. “We are not seeing an acceleration of video subscriber losses. We are trending at two percentage points on video subscriber losses, just like last year.”

The company also reported additions of only 18,000 high-speed users across its two cable units. 

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Revenue increased 3.2% across the company compared to 2.2% growth in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was up 21.9%.

Here are some other highlights from Altice USA’s second-quarter earnings:

FTT: Goei said Altice “continues to make progress” on its five-year goal to cover its entire Optimum footprint, and part of Suddenlink regions, with fiber-to-the-home-based multigigabit broadband service. Altice is the only major cable operator eschewing DOCSIS 3.1 for an FTTH architecture. 

M&A: Goei, who stated Altice’s intentions to buy more U.S. cable assets following the even-better-than-expected IPO, was mum on the subject Thursday. “I’m not sure what interview you’re talking about, but all I can say is that we have not additional commentary,” he said, responding to a journalist’s request that he elaborate on merger-related comments made earlier. 

New video hub: Altice USA is about to roll out a new home video hub, already successfully deployed in Europe. “It’s going to have significant impact in the Suddenlink base, which has a lower quality video interface,” Goei said.