CCR Short Takes
News | 04/22/2005 4:00 am EDT
Cogeco anticipates more digital growth, raises prices
Cogeco Cable Inc. has revised upward the number of digital TV terminals it expects to roll out to between 55,000 and 60,000 from its previous estimate of 40,000 to 45,000, given the strong demand during the first six months of the year. Cogeco announced April 11 in releasing its financial results for the second quarter ended February 28 that it had acquired a total of 238,220 digital customers (157,273 in Ontario and 80,947 in Quebec) at the end of the quarter. It had 279,223 digital TV terminals (192,361 in Ontario and 86,862 in Quebec) at February 28. The stronger-than-expected growth in digital TV is mainly "attributable to the success of an attractive digital terminal rental plan launched in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 and the launch of subscription video-on-demand, free of charge, to most digital pay television customers last November and December," Cogeco states. As a result of the strong interest in digital TV, Cogeco Cable will purchase more digital TV terminals and is raising its capital expenditures guideline from $114 million to $119 million. In the second quarter, Cogeco’s basic TV customer base declined slightly from 830,847 to 823,855 at August 31. Still, Cogeco maintained its fiscal 2005 guideline of adding up to 2,500 basic service customers given that it acquired 6,992 customers in the first six months of the fiscal year.