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COMCAST KICKED OFF THE THIRD-QUARTER earnings season on a mixed note last week, but that didn't seem to damper the enthusiasm of several analysts that follow the sector, who saw the No. 1 U.S. MSO results as further proof that higher-margin customers are driving the business.
Comcast lost about 275,000 basic subscribers in the period, well above analyst consensus estimates of losses of around 189,000 customers. But while basic video continued its decline--Comcast has lost about 622,000 basic-video customers this year--revenue and operating cash-flow growth remained strong (up 7.3% and 7.6%, respectively).
In a conference call with analysts, Comcast cable president Neil Smit said that about 40% of the video losses were from lower-end customers, particularly …