TeleCommunications Inc., the media company based in Englewood, Colo., said Friday its TCI Group lost $142 million in the second quarter, 11.3 percent less than it lost in the same period last year.
TCI Group includes TCI Cablevision of Utah and the Kearns-Tribune Corp. properties it acquired last year, including the Salt Lake Tribune.Revenue for TCI Group totaled $1.504 billion, down 6.4 percent; operating cash flow was $627 million, down 5.4 percent; and operating income was $177 million, down 33.2 percent.
Kearns-Tribune generated $6 million in operating cash flow to TCI Group in the second quarter, said the report. The cable TV operations in Utah were not broken out from the overall group revenues of which cable operations accounted for $1.464 billion in "pro forma" results - up 5.4 percent.
The pro forma results are adjusted figures after acquisitions and partnerships TCI entered into this year and last. The company says the pro forma results provide a more uniform and comparable analysis of TCI Group's continuing operations.
TCI said the cable partnerships are aimed at improving the company's "geographical clustering" of its operations. TCI spokeswoman Katina Vlahadamis said many of those deals are still being worked on, and some won't close until early next year.
"TCI Group's modest second quarter operating cash flow growth was in line with our expectations," TCI president Leo J. Hindery says in the quarterly statement. "We implemented price increases that were the lowest in the industry, and we are continuing to witness strong growth in advertising sales.
"Despite higher programming and marketing expenditures, our pro forma operating cash flow grew 3 percent year-over-year."
TCI ended the second quarter with 13.059 million basic cable customers, down 11,000 from the first quarter excluding the effects of the acquisitions but including an "Equivalent Basic Unit" adjustment which TCI says artificially lowered its reported customers as a result of the recently implemented but "modest" increase in the prices it charges cable customers.
"Without the EBU adjustment," says the report, "TCI Group would have increased internal customers in the second quarter by 7,000."
TCI began offering digital cable service at the end of last year and some 600,000 had signed up as of two weeks ago, double the number at the end of April. But 180,000 of those new digital customers will be lost to areas that TCI is giving up to the new partnerships, leaving a total of about 420,000 with TCI Group.
The company's cable Internet service, called TCIHome, had a second-quarter deficit of $7 million in operating cash flow. Other miscellaneous operations had a $9 million deficit.