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Today, AT&T kicks off third quarter reporting for cable, followed by AOL Time Warner Wednesday and Insight Thursday.

Today's financial numbers from AT&T are likely to be the last full quarter before Comcast takes over AT&T's Broadband cable unit.

In a research note, Banc of America cable analyst Doug Shapiro said merger distractions, and since AT&T Broadband curtailed its rebuild beginning last year, make the cable TV unit susceptible to subscriber losses, especially to satellite TV competition. The company lost 125,000 basic subscribers in the second quarter.

As for AOL Time Warner, Shapiro said consensus expectations suggest that the rate of digital and high-speed data additions may have declined modestly from the strong pace achieved in second quarter, although inconsistency in the treatment of the unwinding of the Advance/Newhouse partnership makes it difficult to gauge the consensus.

The third quarter numbers come as 11 cable operators pledged to support new guidelines aimed at increasing the clarity and consistency of their financial reports. New standards, which were released by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Monday, include set definitions for customer relationships and revenue generating units, and they also establish six standard reporting categories for capital spending. Companies are expected to adopt the standards by the first quarter.

The participating MSOs are: AT&T Broadband, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, Insight, Cox, Adelphia, Cablevision, Mediacom, CableOne and General Communications.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
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