With the integration of the two new cable properties proceedings, Altice is expecting great results from the former Cablevision and Suddenlink systems, as they are seeking to increase the operating efficiencies of the systems.
Altice became the fourth largest MSO in the United States with a subscriber base of 4.6 million users after the acquisition of Suddenlink Communications and Cablevision Systems. They have now reported slightly small subscriber losses in the old Optimum Cablevision markets than the last year, and subscriber gains in the old Suddenlink territories. These details were revealed in the Q3 earnings report by Altice.
Reports say that Altice USA has bagged 2,000 unique residential users, as broadband user gains more than offset video user losses despite of all the seasonal challenges in the New York market of Optimum Cablevision. Expert also say that the improved third quarter results of Altice came due to the stronger operating results in the second quarter by Altice USA. They have completed 17.7 billion dollars purchase of Cablevision and this was done after buying a controlling stake in Suddenlink for 9.1 billion US dollars.
In the spring of this year, both Suddenlink and Optimum posted better subscriber numbers than that of earlier year. Both the US cable units offered good revenue increase in the third quarter, with Optimum making 2.7% growth and Suddenlink making 6.7% growth.
Both Suddenlink and Optimum offered higher margins, with Suddenlink standing out with a margin of 46.4%, which is the current highest in the US cable market. “We really think we are striking the right balance here,” Altice USA Chairman and CEO Dexter Goei said, while speaking on the earnings call. “We’re very focused on continuing to invest in our networks.”
As part of their plans, Altice has already started upgrading the cable plant in both Suddenlink and Optimum markets by adding more fiber to the Hybrid Fiber-Coax (HFC) networks. These changes have boosted the maximum broadband download speeds to 300 Mbps for the home users and to 350 Mbps for business users in Optimum internet areas.
They are also continuing to expand the Project GigaSpeed in areas covered by Suddenlink. Goei said that the complete Optimum network is upgraded for higher speeds and 46 percent of the Suddenlink network is upgraded for 1-Gig service.
With the latest network upgrades, Altice has been pitching higher speed broadband plans to their users, which has been successful. The company said that 40 percent of the new Optimum broadband users go for packages with 100 Mbps speeds or more, where the users count in Suddenlink areas that prefer 100 Mbps or more speed is 56 percent.