Cablevision Systems Corp.'s digital-subscriber deployment is coming up well
short of expectations, with the MSO predicting that it will have just 125,000 to
150,000 subscribers by year-end.
Analysts had been expecting digital sales to hit 250,000 to 300,000 this
year. The forecast came as the company issued earnings guidance for 2002.
The company expected to launch digital services last spring and sign up
500,000 customers by year-end 2001. Instead, digital launched in October and it
has signed up just 17,000 customers.
Banc of America Securities LLC media analyst Doug Shapiro said he's not
worried if Cablevision starts slowly in the first half, but if the company isn't
clearly ramping up sales by the second half of the year, it will miss his
cash-flow target for 2003.