Charter CEO Vows Mobile Solution Following Pay-TV Sub Loss

Charter Communications is testing a mobile video platform among 5,000 of its employees, with plans to roll out service nationwide later this year.

Dubbed “Spectrum Mobile,” the platform incorporates mobile virtual network operator(MVNO) technology from Verizon Wireless.

“Ultimately, the goal is to use our mobile service to attract and retain cable bundled, multi-product customers,” CEO Tom Rutledge said on the April 27 first-quarter fiscal call.

Indeed, Charter was one of the first pay-TV operators (after Dish Network’s Sling TV) to launch a standalone online TV service — dubbed Spectrum TV Plus — to its broadband-only subscribers.

Charter, which is melding Time Warner Video and Bright Cove Video into the Spectrum brand, is looking for answers following a fiscal period that saw it lose 122,000 pay-TV subscribers – three times higher than Wall Street projections.

Charter, like most Internet service providers, gained 331,000 high-speed Internet subs, but that was lower than the 370,000 projected broadband additions.

The pay-TV sub losses saw Charter’s stock plummet to its lowest level in nine years.

“The changes in the video business are significant and hard to predict, but there’s video growth capable inside of our asset base,” Rutledge said on the call. “Our activity and our project management is going as we expected and the kind of marketplace acceptance of our products is going as we expected.”