Comcast lowers its Cable TV revenue growth forecast for 2007

The largest cable television operator in the US, Comcast Corporation, has lowered its forecast for 2007 cable TV revenue growth from ''at least 12 per cent'' to ''about 11 per cent''. The company's announcement on Tuesday, 4 December - which sent the company's shares down almost 5 per cent - cited a ''challenging economic and competitive environment'' as the reason for the downgrade.

Comcast also said 2007 capital expenditures on its cable business would be about $6 billion, 5 per cent higher than earlier expectations. The higher expenditures were owing to increased purchases of advanced digital set-top boxes, the company's accelerated shift to digital technology, network improvements and acquisition-related investments.

Comcast now expects its revenue generating units - basic and digital cable, high-speed Internet and net phone subscribers - to increase by about 6 million to 57 million. Earlier, it expected about 6.5 million additions.

In October, the company posted a 54 per cent drop in quarterly profit as it lost more basic video subscribers than expected, owing to discounts by satellite TV and phone companies, as well as a weaker US economy.

Comcast now expects 2007 cable operating cash flow growth of ''about 13 per cent'', compared with its earlier forecast of ''at least 12 per cent''. The consolidated operating cash flow growth is now ''about 13 per cent'', compared with ''at least 13 per cent'' earlier.