Charter Communications has given more details on its convergence strategy for next-generation television in its fourth-quarter 2010 results.
The MSO expects its roll out of switched digital video and DOCSIS 3.0 to be largely complete by the end of 2011, to support the strategy. And it will continue to "invest in our strategic priorities to improve the customer experience and grow the commercial business," said Mike Lovett, president and CEO, including multi-room and non-DVR platforms.
That statement also means embracing convergence of the online video and linear TV worlds. The cableco plans to create a hybrid platform that leverages traditional cable and next-generation IP, leveraging a partnership with TiVO. Charter will deploy the TiVo Premiere set top box, to implement discovery, search, navigation and recommendation features for traditional and next generation television, including linear TV, video on demand, and full libraries of Internet-delivered video and IP applications.
It's also going multiscreen, like many of its competitors; it plans to The cableco expand the service with new devices, features and third party applications. Initially that means an iPad app that can act as "command central" when it comes to content discovery and browsing, setting DVR times and the playback of "certain recorded content."
Charter will launch the initiative mid-yea,r with it scheduled to be complete by the end of 2011.
Charter's revenue during Q4 2010 was up 4.3% to $1.78 billion and 4.8% to $7 billion over the year. The MSO lost 63,000 basic video subscribers during the quarter but gained 19,200 digital video subs and 31,700 broadband subs.
ARPU meanwhile increased 10.3%, thanks to an increase in bundle penetration, growth in commercial and ad sales, and advanced services.
Charter served approximately 5.1 million customers and 12.8 million residential gateway units at the end of 2010, an increase of 325,000 RGUs over the prior year. In total it added 14,400 RGUs in the fourth quarter of 2010. Video ARPU was $70.39 for the fourth quarter of 2010, up 5.9% year-over-year driven by HD and DVR uptake. Approximately 61% of Charter's residential customers subscribe to a bundle, compared to 57% a year ago.