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Cogeco, the nation’s fourth largest cable provider, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ending August 31, 2011.

Unfortunately for Cogeco shareholders, despite the large increase in revenues and operating income, the company actually lost $9 million during the year primarily due to a write-down of its Portuguese subsidiary of $225.9 million. The write down, which took place in the third quarter, was necessary as Cabovisão loses customers and is forced to lower prices during Portugal’s current economic crisis.
 

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Something I found interesting in this story was the Basic/Digital subscriber breakout. Since I'm not sure how to interpret the numbers, I'll ask the question.

The latest (end August 2011) tally of Basic Cogeco Cable customers was 877, 985.
Total number of Digital Television subscribers was 678,325.

Compared to a year ago, the numbers for the "Basic Cable" customers were pretty much unchanged, while the total "Digital Television" subscribers increased by roughly 118,000. I'm guessing the recent digital migration had something to do with the latter upward change.

Question is this: What's the makeup of today's Basic Cable customers?

Are they simply people who have opted to go with no set top boxes (33 Analogue channels) or does the group also include subs with adapters that convert the previous Value Pack channels, recently flipped to digital, back to analogue?

Either way, the percentage of Digital subs is smaller than a lot of folks would have us believe.
 

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Digital Penetration is 77%. That means just over 3 out of every 4 Cogeco customers has at least one digital cable set top box in their home.
 

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>> Digital Penetration is 77%...just over 3 out of every 4 Cogeco customers has at least one digital cable set top box <<
Thanks for the reply, Hugh. The Basic Cable customer figures vs. the number of Digital Television subscribers
made it look like Cogeco's digital penetration was approximately 44%.
Not so, as you state, which means a certain number of subs who are paying for what Cogeco now calls
"Classic Cable" are getting their minimum number of channels through digital receivers.
Many of those folks probably have digital TV sets and are going after better picture quality
than an analogue feed will give them.
The digital boxes also give them the Program Guide, VOD and PVRs offer digital recording PQ.
Thanks, too, to Josh at Cogeco for the additional info.
 

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FYI,

Homes Passed is every household in the Cogeco area that COULD subscribe to cable.
Basic Cable is the number of households that actually subscribe to analog or digital cable
Digital Cable is the number of households that subscribe to digital cable

Digital Penetration % = Digital Cable Subs / Basic Cable Subs

This is the terminology used by the industry and can be confusing.
 
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