- Associated Press - Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here is a summary of earnings reports for selected cable and satellite TV companies and what they reveal about the industry’s prospects:

Oct. 21. AT&T Inc. said it added 236,000 subscribers to its U-Verse video service in the quarter, in line with the last two years. The phone company has been taking on cable companies, but doesn’t plan to offer TV everywhere it offers landline phone service. It ended the quarter with 2.7 million video subscribers.

Oct. 22: Verizon Communications Inc. said it added 204,000 FiOS TV subscribers. Verizon now has more TV subscribers than Cablevision Systems Corp., the fifth-largest traditional cable company. Verizon ended the quarter with 3.3 million FiOS TV subscribers.

Oct. 27: Comcast Corp.’s loss of cable video subscribers took a big jump, with a net loss of 275,000 compared with 132,000 a year ago. Comcast attributed much of the loss to customers who had taken advantage of low introductory rates that the company was offering last year during the transition to digital broadcast signals. Comcast is gaining from higher fees, as subscribers took advantage of pricier high-definition video and digital video recorder service. Comcast ended the quarter with 22.9 million video subscribers.

Wednesday: Charter Communications Inc. lost 63,800 video subscribers to end the quarter at 4.7 million.

Thursday: Time Warner Cable Inc. says it lost 155,000 video subscribers in the latest quarter to end with 12.6 million, compared with 64,000 a year ago, when the economy was worse. Cable TV providers usually compensate by upgrading basic subscribers to more expensive digital tiers, as well as adding broadband and phone subscribers. However, Time Warner Cable lost digital video subscribers and added a record-low 22,000 phone subscribers, meaning it lost overall “revenue-generating units,” an important measure in the industry.

Cablevision Systems Corp. says it lost 24,500 video subscribers to end the quarter at 3.04 million. It added record-low number of new phone and broadband subscribers. Like Time Warner Cable, Cablevision lost digital video subscribers.

Satellite TV operator DirecTV says its “free HD” promotion helped bring in new customers and reduce cancellations. DirecTV picked up 174,000 subscribers in the U.S. to end the quarter at 18.9 million.

Among pay TV companies’ earnings coming up:

Friday: Dish Network Corp.

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