Now we can see why the No. 2 cable company backed down this summer in the retransmission consent contract fight with CBS. Time Warner Cable says this morning that it lost 306,000 video subscribers in Q3 — which included the 32-day period when CBS stations and channels went dark on its systems. That brought the video total down to 11.4M. In addition, TWC lost 24,000 Internet customers (for a total of 11.1M), and 128,000 phone subs (to 4.8M). Earnings also were slammed, though not as badly as many analysts anticipated. The cable company had net income of $532M, -34.2% vs the period last year, on revenues of $5.52B, +2.9%. The revenue number was only slightly lower than $5.54B expected. But earnings at $1.84 a share were well ahead of the $1.65 the Street predicted. Residential video revenues dropped 4.5% to $2.6B — with $15M of the decline due to credits given to customers who lost Showtime during the fight with CBS. TWC says that price increases partly offset the drop in subs. But programming costs per subscriber were up 8.4% vs last year to $34.10. TWC’s marketing costs also rose 6.7% to $176M to help make its case in the CBS fight, as well as a smaller one with Journal Communications. The high speed Internet operation’s revenues increased 14.2% to $1.46B after the company started to charge customers a monthly fee for their modems. But revenues from TWC’s residential phone service fell 6% to $498M with the drop in customers and what the company says was a “decline in average revenue per subscriber.” This is the last quarterly report for CEO Glenn Britt, who’ll pass the baton to COO Rob Marcus at year end — and disclosed this week that he has cancer. “As I leave the business after 41 years, I am proud of this company and its many accomplishments,” he says. “We have tremendous opportunity ahead, and I have full confidence in Rob and his team.”

TWC’s Glenn Britt Reflects On Four Decades In The Industry
TWC Says CBS Fight Hurt Worse Than Expected But Was Worth It