Attached files

file filename
EX-32.2 - EX-32.2 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex322_14.htm
EX-12.1 - EX-12.1 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex121_9.htm
EX-31.1 - EX-31.1 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex311_11.htm
EX-21.1 - EX-21.1 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex211_10.htm
EX-31.2 - EX-31.2 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex312_12.htm
EX-32.1 - EX-32.1 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex321_13.htm
EX-10.1 - EX-10.1 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex101_635.htm
EX-10.2 - EX-10.2 - MEDIACOM LLCmcccl-ex102_636.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

 

Commission File Numbers:

 333-82124-01

 

 333-82124-04

 

Mediacom LLC

Mediacom Capital Corporation*

(Exact names of Registrants as specified in their charters)

 

 

New York

06-1433421

New York

06-1513997

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Numbers)

1 Mediacom Way

Mediacom Park, New York 10918

(Address of principal executive offices)

(845) 443-2600

(Registrants’ telephone number)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:

None

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrants are well-known seasoned issuers, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  o    No  x

Indicate by check mark if the Registrants are not required to file pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes  x    No  o

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrants (1) have filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrants were required to file such reports), and (2) have been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  o    No  x

Note: As voluntary filers, not subject to the filing requirements, the Registrants have filed all reports under Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months.

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrants have submitted electronically and posted on their corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrants were required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the Registrants’ knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. Not Applicable.

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrants are large accelerated filers, accelerated filers, non-accelerated filers or smaller reporting companies. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filers

o

Accelerated filers

o

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filers

x

Smaller reporting companies

o

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrants are shell companies (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  o    No  x

State the aggregate market value of the common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrants: Not Applicable

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of the Registrants’ common stock: Not Applicable

*

Mediacom Capital Corporation meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I (1) (a) and (b) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing this form with the reduced disclosure format.

 

 

 

 

 


MEDIACOM LLC

2015 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

4

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

21

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

29

Item 2.

Properties

29

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

30

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

30

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

31

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

31

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

33

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

47

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

48

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

64

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

64

Item 9B.

Other Information

66

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

67

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

69

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

69

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

69

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

69

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

70

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K is for the year ended December 31, 2015. Any statement contained in a prior periodic report shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this Annual Report to the extent that a statement herein modifies or supersedes such statement. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) allows us to “incorporate by reference” information that we file with them, which means that we can disclose important information by referring you directly to those documents. Information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this Annual Report.

Mediacom LLC is a New York limited liability company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mediacom Communications Corporation, a Delaware corporation. Mediacom Capital Corporation is a New York corporation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mediacom LLC. Mediacom Capital Corporation was formed for the sole purpose of acting as co-issuer with Mediacom LLC of debt securities and does not conduct operations of its own.

References in this Annual Report to “we,” “us,” or “our” are to Mediacom LLC and its direct and indirect subsidiaries (including Mediacom Capital Corporation), unless the context specifies or requires otherwise. References in this Annual Report to “Mediacom” or “MCC” are to Mediacom Communications Corporation.

2


Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

You should carefully review the information contained in this Annual Report and in other reports or documents that we file from time to time with the SEC.

In this Annual Report, we state our beliefs of future events and of our future financial performance. In some cases, you can identify those so-called “forward-looking statements” by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “continue,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “should” or “will,” or the negative of those and other comparable words. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those we anticipate as a result of various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Factors that may cause such differences to occur include, but are not limited to:

 

·

increased levels of competition for residential and business customers from other providers, including but not limited to direct broadcast satellite operators, local phone companies, other cable providers, wireless communications companies, and providers that offer streaming and downloading of video content over the Internet;

 

·

lower demand for our residential and business services, which may result from increased competition, weakened economic conditions or other factors;

 

·

our ability to contain the continued increases in video programming costs, or to raise video rates to offset, in whole or in part, the effects of such costs, including retransmission consent fees;

 

·

significant increases in the use of bandwidth-intensive Internet services;

 

·

our ability to further expand our business services, which has continued to make increasing contributions to our results of operations;

 

·

our ability to successfully adopt new technologies and introduce new products and services to meet customer demands and preferences;

 

·

our ability to secure hardware, software and operational support for the delivery of products and services to consumers;

 

·

disruptions or failures of our network and information systems, including those caused by “cyber-attacks,” natural disasters or other material events outside our control;

 

·

our reliance on certain intellectual property rights, and not infringing on the intellectual property rights of others;

 

·

our ability to refinance future debt maturities or provide future funding for general corporate purposes and potential strategic transactions, on favorable terms, if at all;

 

·

our ability to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to meet our debt service obligations;

 

·

changes in assumptions underlying our critical accounting policies;

 

·

changes in legislative and regulatory matters that may cause us to incur additional costs and expenses; and

 

·

other risks and uncertainties discussed in this Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2015 and other reports or documents that we file from time to time with the SEC.

Statements included in this Annual Report are based upon information known to us as of the date that this Annual Report is filed with the SEC, and we assume no obligation to update or alter our forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable federal securities laws.

 

 

3


PART I

ITEM 1.

BUSINESS

Mediacom Communications Corporation

We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mediacom Communications Corporation (“Mediacom” or “MCC”). MCC is the eighth largest cable operator in the U.S., serving about 1.3 million residential and business customer relationships in smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. MCC offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services to households and businesses, including video, high-speed data (“HSD”), phone, and home security and automation. Through Mediacom Business, MCC provides scalable broadband communications solutions to commercial and public sector customers of all sizes, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. 

MCC’s cable systems are owned and operated through our operating subsidiaries and those of Mediacom Broadband LLC, another wholly-owned subsidiary of MCC. As of December 31, 2015, MCC’s cable systems passed an estimated 2.82 million homes and served approximately 855,000 video customers, 1,085,000 HSD customers and 433,000 phone customers, aggregating 2.37 million primary service units (“PSUs”).

MCC is a privately-owned company. An entity wholly-owned by Rocco B. Commisso and related parties is the sole shareholder of MCC, a C corporation.  Mr. Commisso is MCC’s founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. MCC manages us pursuant to management agreements with our operating subsidiaries. See Note 9 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Mediacom LLC

We are a holding company and do not have any operations or hold any assets other than our investments in our operating subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2015, the cable systems operated by these subsidiaries passed an estimated 1.33 million homes and served approximately 375,000 video customers, 480,000 HSD customers and 194,000 phone customers, aggregating 1.05 million PSUs.  As of the same date, these cable systems served 585,000 residential and business customer relationships.

Our phone number is (845) 443-2600 and our principal executive offices are located at 1 Mediacom Way, Mediacom Park, New York, 10918. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to such reports filed with or furnished to the SEC under sections 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are made available free of charge on MCC’s website (www.mediacomcc.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The information posted on MCC’s website is not incorporated into our SEC filings.

2015 Financing Activity

On August 12, 2015 and November 23, 2015, we entered into incremental facility agreements that provided for $25.0 million and $112.5 million of additional revolving credit commitments, respectively.

On December 17, 2015, we completed a new term loan (“Term Loan A”) in the aggregate principal amount of $153.5 million and used the net proceeds to substantially fund a $153.5 million partial repayment of the existing Term Loan E under our bank credit facility.

See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Structure — 2015 Financing Activity”” and Note 6 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

4


Description of Our Business

The following table provides an overview of selected operating data for our cable systems as of December 31:  

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

2011

 

Estimated homes passed(1)

 

 

1,325,000

 

 

 

1,311,000

 

 

 

1,301,000

 

 

 

1,301,000

 

 

 

1,295,000

 

Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video customers(2)

 

 

375,000

 

 

 

390,000

 

 

 

417,000

 

 

 

442,000

 

 

 

473,000

 

Video penetration(3)

 

 

28.3

%

 

 

29.7

%

 

 

32.1

%

 

 

34.0

%

 

 

36.5

%

High Speed Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HSD customers(4)

 

 

480,000

 

 

 

449,000

 

 

 

431,000

 

 

 

410,000

 

 

 

383,000

 

HSD penetration(5)

 

 

36.2

%

 

 

34.2

%

 

 

33.1

%

 

 

31.5

%

 

 

29.6

%

Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phone customers(6)

 

 

194,000

 

 

 

182,000

 

 

 

179,000

 

 

 

166,000

 

 

 

159,000

 

Phone penetration(7)

 

 

14.6

%

 

 

13.9

%

 

 

13.8

%

 

 

12.8

%

 

 

12.3

%

Primary Service Units (PSUs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PSUs (8)

 

 

1,049,000

 

 

 

1,021,000

 

 

 

1,027,000

 

 

 

1,018,000

 

 

 

1,015,000

 

PSU penetration(9)

 

 

79.2

%

 

 

77.9

%

 

 

78.9

%

 

 

78.2

%

 

 

78.4

%

Customer Relationships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer relationships(10)

 

 

585,000

 

 

 

569,000

 

 

 

575,000

 

 

 

571,000

 

 

 

569,000

 

 

(1)

Represents the estimated number of single residence homes, apartments and condominium units that we can connect to our distribution system without further extending the transmission lines.

(2)

Represents customers receiving video service. Accounts that are billed on a bulk basis are converted into full-price equivalent video customers by dividing their associated revenues by the applicable residential rate. This conversion method is generally consistent with the methodology used in determining payments made to programmers. Video customers include connections to schools, libraries, local government offices and employee households that may not be charged for basic expanded video service, but may be charged for higher tier video, HSD, phone or other services. Our methodology of calculating the number of video customers may not be identical to those used by other companies offering similar services.

(3)

Represents video customers as a percentage of estimated homes passed.

(4)

Represents customers receiving HSD service. Small- to medium-sized business customers are converted to equivalent residential HSD customers by dividing their associated revenues by the applicable residential rate. Medium- to large-sized business customers who take our enterprise network services are not counted as HSD customers. Our methodology of calculating HSD customers may not be identical to those used by other companies offering similar services.

(5)

Represents the number of total HSD customers as a percentage of estimated homes passed.

(6)

Represents customers receiving phone service. Small- to medium-sized business customers are converted to equivalent residential phone customers by dividing their associated revenues by the applicable residential rate. Customers who take our IP-enabled voice trunk service are not counted as phone customers. Our methodology of calculating phone customers may not be identical to those used by other companies offering similar services.

(7)

Represents the number of total phone customers as a percentage of estimated homes passed.

(8)

Represents the sum of video, HSD and phone customers.

(9)

Represents primary service units as a percentage of our estimated homes passed.

(10)

Represents the total number of residential and business customers that receive at least one service, without regard to which service(s) customers purchase.

Services

We offer video, HSD and phone services to residential and small- to medium-sized business (“SMB”) customers over our hybrid fiber and coaxial cable network, and provide fiber-based network and transport services to medium- and large-sized businesses, governments and educational institutions. We also sell advertising to local, regional and national advertisers on television and digital platforms.

Our services are typically offered on a subscription basis to residential and SMB customers, billed in advance, with a one-time installation fee and monthly rates and related charges that vary according to the level of service taken, whether the services are sold as

5


a “bundle” or on an individual basis, and charges associated with equipment taken by customers.  Residential customers generally have the option of paying on a month-to-month basis, or signing a contract to obtain more favorable rates, subject to a fee upon early cancellation. Business customers may only discontinue services in accordance with the terms of their contracts, which typically have 3 to 7 year terms.

Our Service Areas

Approximately 68% of our homes passed are in the top 100 television markets in the United States, commonly referred to as Nielsen Media Research designated market areas (“DMAs”), with about 40% of our homes passed residing in DMAs that rank between the 50th and 100th largest.

Our largest markets are:

 

·

The gulf coast region surrounding Pensacola, FL and Mobile, AL;

 

·

Suburban and outlying communities around Minneapolis, MN;

 

·

Outlying communities around Champaign, Springfield and Decatur, IL;

 

·

Communities in the western Kentucky and southern Illinois region;

 

·

Communities in northern Indiana;

 

·

Dagsboro, DE and the adjoining coastal area in Delaware and Maryland;

 

·

Certain western suburbs of Chicago, IL; and

 

·

Suburban communities of Huntsville, AL.

Residential Services

We market our services to residential customers both individually and in bundled packages, with discounts generally available for the subscription to bundled packages, multiple tiers, or other combinations of services.  As of December 31, 2015, approximately 58% of our residential customers took two or more of our services, including about 23% that took all three.

Video

We offer residential customers a wide variety of video services, with access to hundreds of channels depending on the level of service taken, including various programming tiers and packages to appeal to a variety of customer preferences. Residential video customers are charged a monthly fee that varies depending on the video package and equipment taken, with additional revenues generated from one-time fees associated with video-on-demand (“VOD”) and other ancillary purchases.  In 2015, residential video revenues represented 47.2% of our total revenues.

All of our residential video customers receive, at a minimum, a limited basic tier of over 55 channels including local broadcast stations and local public, government and leased access channels, with additional digital programming tiers offering over 400 channels. We offer several tiers of digital video service that include national cable networks and regional sports networks, foreign-language and international programming, and digital music channels, depending on the tier selected.  Residential video customers may also subscribe to premium network programming from HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax that provides commercial-free original programming, movies, live and taped sporting events and concerts, and other special events.  

Our video services generally require the use of a digital set-top box (“set-top”), which provides an interactive, on-screen program guide and access to our VOD library, or a lower-cost digital transport adapter.  Video customers who take our high-definition (“HD”) set-top can view certain content with a higher resolution picture, improved audio quality and a wide-screen format, including most major broadcast networks, leading national cable networks, regional sports networks and premium channels, and we offer many HD titles in our VOD library.

Our VOD service gives video customers access to over 23,000 programming choices, including a wide selection of movies, national broadcast and cable network shows, music videos, and locally produced events. A significant portion of our VOD carries no additional charge and video customers who subscribe to a premium network can access its VOD content for no additional charge. Special event programs, including live concerts, sporting events, and first-run movies are also available on a pay-per-view basis.

Our digital video recorder (“DVR”) service allows customers to digitally record programming to view at their convenience, and pause and rewind live programming. Our most advanced DVR, the multi-room set-top, gives customers the same stored content on multiple

6


televisions in their home and a cloud-based, graphically-rich TiVo guide, with Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and other popular apps,  advanced search functionality, in-home video streaming to personal customer devices and the ability to download certain content to their mobile devices for viewing outside of their home. As of December 31, 2015, 34.8% of our video customers took our DVR service.

We also enable video customers to watch certain programming wherever they are connected to the Internet, whether in or outside their home, using devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones. Eligible video customers have online access to content for about 70 channels, and we plan to further expand our “TV Everywhere” line-up in 2016.

HSD

We offer several tiers of high-speed Internet access with a variety of speeds and data allowances to fit our customers’ needs, with  maximum downstream and upstream speeds of up to 150 megabits per second (“Mbps”) and up to 20 Mbps, respectively, available in substantially all of our service area. In 2015, residential HSD revenues represented 32.6% of our total revenues.

Residential HSD customers are charged a monthly fee that varies depending on the speed tier taken, with additional charges if their monthly data allowance is exceeded. Our HSD service requires a modem to connect to the Internet, which most of our customers lease from us for a monthly fee, and may also include robust wireless home networking gear that allows our customers to connect multiple devices in their home at the highest speeds possible. As of December 31, 2015, 34.8% of our HSD customers took wireless home networking.

As Internet-delivered video and the usage of multiple devices have proliferated, customer bandwidth requirements have grown at a rapid pace, increasing demand for our higher-speed HSD tiers. We continue to make substantial investments in our network to meet higher customer bandwidth demands, including plans to begin the deployment of next-generation technology in 2016 that will allow us to introduce downstream speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (“Gbps”) throughout our residential footprint over the next few years.

Phone

Our residential phone offers unlimited nationwide calling and a wide variety of popular calling features, including Caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, three-way calling, anonymous call blocking and other features, generally for a fixed monthly service and equipment fee. Residential phone customers who also take our video service have the ability to receive Caller ID on the customer’s television. Voicemail services, directory assistance and other features are available for an additional monthly fee, and international calling plans are made available at competitive rates. In 2015, residential phone revenues represented 7.2% of our total revenues.

Business Services

Through Mediacom Business, we offer a variety of services that can be tailored to any size business, from video, HSD and phone that are similar to our residential products for small- and medium-sized businesses, to high performance, customized solutions for medium- and large-sized businesses and institutions with high-capacity transmission and multi-user voice requirements, including fiber connectivity to cellular towers. In 2015, business services revenues represented 11.1% of our total revenues.

We provide small- and medium-sized businesses HSD service with speeds of up to 105 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream, an IP-enabled multi-line phone service, and video programming packages and music services.  

We furnish custom fiber solutions for medium- and large-sized businesses and institutions that require multiple sites including IP-enabled trunk-based voice services, and point-to-point, multi-point wide area, and local area network solutions, with transmission speeds of up to 10 Gbps. We provide these services to education, government, healthcare, financial and hospitality institutions.

We supply high-capacity fiber transport and dedicated Internet access to national and regional wireless and wireline phone and Internet service providers to support cell tower backhaul, Ethernet and regional transport.

Advertising

Through our OnMedia brand, we sell advertising and production services to local, regional and national customers. As part of the programming agreements with certain national cable networks, we receive an allocation of scheduled advertising time, generally two minutes per hour, and use this allotted time to insert commercials.  Our advertising sales infrastructure includes in-house production facilities and staffing, and a locally-based sales workforce. In certain markets, we have entered into agreements, or “interconnects,” with other cable operators in the same DMA under which we sell advertising on behalf of these other operators, or vice versa, simplifying our clients’ purchase of local advertising in multiple markets and expanding their geographic reach. We also sell digital ad

7


placement and other media services as an extension of our advertising business to help local and national businesses market their products. This single-provider integration of television and digital advertising represents a unique market position for us in the communities we serve. In 2015, advertising revenues represented 2.0% of our total revenues.

Marketing and Sales

We employ a wide range of sales channels to reach current and potential customers, including outbound telemarketing, direct mail, in-bound customer care centers, retail locations, door-to-door field technician sales, and our recently launched e-commerce site. Customers are directed to our inbound call centers or website through direct mail, broadcast television, radio, newspaper, outdoor and Internet advertising and television advertising on our own cable systems. We also have a dedicated sales force and outbound telemarketing for Business Services, and relationships with third-party agents who sell our services.  

In 2015, we rolled out Xtream, a repackaging of our flagship triple play bundle, with a simplified pricing structure. The base Xtream package offering includes our TiVo-enabled DVR, HSD service with 50 Mbps downstream speeds and our phone service with unlimited nationwide calling. We believe this rebranding will positively influence the market’s perception of our products and services, and drive greater sales activity. In 2015, we also launched an e-commerce platform, which allows customers to add services and schedule installations through our website, adding additional flexibility for potential customers.

Customer Care

We continue to invest in our customers’ experience by improving the reliability and quality of service and installation experience. Our customer care group has multiple contact centers, staffed with dedicated customer service, sales, and technical support representatives available at all times. Our virtual contact center platform functions as a single, unified call center and allows us to manage resources effectively and reduce customer hold times through efficient call-routing. Our Internet portal and mobile applications allow customers to manage their billing account, utilize self-help tools to troubleshoot service issues, schedule appointments, and easily contact an agent. Our strong presence on many social networking websites, including Twitter and Facebook, allows us to be more proactive in customer service.  

Our field operations team focuses on providing a quality experience during installation and service calls, with the goal of resolving any technical issues on the first attempt. For the convenience of our customers, we offer 30 minute arrival windows and evening and weekend scheduling for installation and service calls. Field activity is scheduled and routed seamlessly with remote dispatching and workflow management and GPS systems that facilitate on-time arrival for customer appointments.  Our field technicians are equipped with diagnostic and monitoring tools that determine the quality of service at the customer’s home in real-time.

Network Technology

Our services are delivered through a fiber-rich, technologically-advanced, route-diverse network that consists of a: national backbone; large-scale, centralized platforms; regional networks and headends; neighborhood nodes; and the last-mile connectivity to customer homes or businesses. We utilize an Internet Protocol (“IP”) ring architecture that minimizes service outages through its redundant design. Our facilities are supported and monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by our network operations center.

Our national backbone is connected to leading carriers, with a presence in several major carrier hotels. It connects our centralized platforms that control video content delivery, HSD and phone services, provisioning, customer care and email, and provides access to several aggregation and exchange points in our regional networks to ensure network redundancy and enhanced quality of service. Because we manage the delivery of our services through our national backbone and centralized platforms, we can introduce new services across a larger customer base and realize greater economic efficiency and scale.

The last-mile component utilizes a hybrid fiber-optic coaxial architecture, transporting the delivery of our services via laser-fed fiber-optic cable by regional networks and headends to neighborhood nodes, and by coaxial cable from these nodes to the homes and businesses we serve. For service reliability, we have installed back-up power supplies in the local network across most of service territory. To serve the high-capacity requirements of our large business customers, our fiber-optic cable is extended from the node site directly to the business customer’s premise.

We expect consumer demands for faster HSD speeds and greater bandwidth consumption, largely driven by increased usage of video delivered over the Internet, will require additional network capacity. As of December 31, 2015, we have converted substantially all of our service area to an “all-digital” delivery platform, allowing us to dedicate spectrum previously used to deliver analog video signals to faster HSD speeds and other advanced services.  In 2016, we will begin the deployment of Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (“DOCSIS”) 3.1 technology, which will allow us to use our existing network capacity in a more efficient manner and introduce downstream speeds of up to 1 Gbps throughout our footprint over the next few years.

8


We believe our current network infrastructure and our plan for its further development provides, and will continue to provide, numerous competitive advantages, notably significantly more bandwidth capacity, greater reliability and higher quality of service.

Community Relations

We are dedicated to fostering strong relations with the communities we serve and believe that our local involvement strengthens the awareness and favorable perception of our brand. We support local charities and community causes with scholarships, events and campaigns to raise funds and supplies for persons in need, and in-kind donations that include production services and free airtime on cable networks. As of December 31, 2015, we provided free video service to almost 1,400 schools and free HSD service to over 50 schools, and also provided provide free video service to almost 2,400 government buildings, libraries and not-for-profit hospitals, almost 200 of which also receive free HSD service.

Franchises

As of December 31, 2015, we served 621 communities under non-exclusive franchises granted to us by local or state governmental authorities.  Many of the provisions of local franchises are subject to federal regulation under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Cable Act”).  Our franchises typically impose numerous conditions, including requirements around construction of the cable network in certain of the franchise areas; customer service requirements; the broad categories of programming required; the provision of free service to schools and other public institutions; and the provision and funding of public access channels.   Many of the provisions of local franchises are subject to a fee based on gross revenues of specified cable services that we typically pass through directly to the customer.  The Cable Act prohibits such franchise fees from exceeding 5%.  

We have never had a franchise revoked. Furthermore, no franchise community has refused to consent to a franchise transfer to us. The Cable Act provides comprehensive renewal procedures, which require that an incumbent franchisee’s renewal application be assessed on its own merits and not as part of a comparative process with competing applications. We believe that we have satisfactory relationships with our franchising communities. For more information around our franchises, see “Legislation and Regulation – State and Local Regulation – Franchise Matters.”

Sources of Supply

Programming

The programming content carried by our cable systems is generally obtained pursuant to fixed-term contracts with suppliers whose compensation is typically based on a fixed monthly fee per video customer, subject to contractual escalations. Most of our contracts are entered into directly with the programmers, but we also secure content through a programming cooperative in certain cases where we receive more favorable pricing or terms than are available to us independently. In general, we attempt to secure longer-term programming contracts, ranging from three to eight years.

We also have various retransmission consent agreements that permit our cable systems to retransmit the signals of local broadcast television stations. Under the FCC rules, local broadcast stations must elect, on a three-year cycle, either “must-carry” rights or “retransmission consent.” If a local broadcast station opts for “retransmission consent,” we are not allowed to carry the station’s signals without its permission, which generally is conditioned upon our payment of cash fees and/or our carriage of one or more of their affiliated stations or programming networks.

Programming expenses have historically been our largest single expense item, and, these costs have historically increased substantially more than the inflation rate on a per-unit basis, particularly for sports programming and retransmission consent. Many of the most popular cable networks are owned by large media conglomerates, and many local broadcast stations are owned by large independent television broadcast groups that own or control a significant number of local broadcast stations across the country and, in some cases, own, control or otherwise represent multiple stations in the same market. Consolidation among these independent broadcast station groups has been significant over the past several years, and given recent proposed and completed transactions in the broadcast marketplace, the pace of consolidation has accelerated. As a result, the independent broadcast groups have become much larger based on the number of stations that they own in our markets. This will strengthen their position by allowing them to negotiate on behalf of a larger amount of local stations at one time.  

Moreover, many of those powerful owners of programming require us to purchase their networks and broadcast stations in bundles and dictate how we offer them to our customers. Consequently, we have little or no ability to individually or selectively negotiate for networks or broadcast stations, to forego purchasing networks or stations that generate low customer interest, to offer sports programming services, such as ESPN and regional sports networks, on one or more separate tiers, or to offer networks or stations on an a la carte basis to give our customers more choice and potentially lower their costs. In many instances, such programmers have created additional networks and migrated popular programming, particularly sports programming, to these new networks, which has

9


contributed to the increases in our programming costs. Additionally, we believe certain programmers may also demand higher fees from us in an effort to partially offset declines in their advertising revenue as more advertisers allocate a greater portion of their spending to Internet advertising. All of these practices increase our programming expense, and while such growth in programming expenses can be offset, in whole or in part, by rate increases to our video customers, our video gross margins will continue to decline if they cannot be fully offset.

HSD Service

We deliver HSD service through route-diverse fiber networks that are owned by us or leased from third parties and through backbone networks that are operated by third parties. We pay fees for leased circuits based on the amount of capacity and for Internet connectivity based on the amount of HSD traffic over the provider’s network.

Phone Service

Our phone service is delivered through a Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) platform over a route-diverse infrastructure. We source certain services from outside parties to support our phone service, the most significant of which are long-distance services from a number of Tier 1 carriers, E911 database management, and leased circuits from incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”).

Set-Tops, Programming Guides, Cable Modems and Network Equipment

We purchase set-tops, including DVRs, from a limited number of suppliers, principally Arris Group Inc., and lease these devices to customers on a monthly basis. We provide our customers with set-top program guides from Rovi Corporation and TiVo Inc. We mainly purchase cable modems from Hitron Technologies and Technicolor SA, and routers, switches and other network equipment from Cisco Systems, Casa Technology Systems and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Competition

We face competition for our residential and business services from a wide range of communication, entertainment and information services similar to ours.  Our residential video, HSD and phone services have historically faced, and continue to face, intense competition from existing providers in the areas of price, product offerings and service reliability.  Rapid technological advances and changes in consumer behavior and demands have led to an increasing number of companies that offer new products and services that compete with these services, including “over-the-top” (“OTT”) video services and wireless Internet and phone services. Our business services generally compete with existing providers who may have a stronger foothold and customer penetration in our markets, and we continue to face a number of challengers for advertising sales.  Many of our current and potential future competitors have strong brand name recognition and significant financial resources, which may allow them to react to technological developments or changes in consumer behavior quicker than us.

Video

Direct Broadcast Satellite (“DBS”) Providers

Our video service faces its most significant competition from DBS providers, principally DirecTV, which was acquired by AT&T in 2015, and DISH Network, which offer satellite-delivered video packages across the entire U.S. and collectively have over 33 million video customers, based on publicly filed information.  We believe aggressive promotional pricing and, until recently, more advanced customer equipment, by these DBS providers have contributed to our historical video customer losses.

These DBS providers offer similar video packages to ours, including certain features we may not provide including ad-skipping functionality and exclusive content such as DirecTV’s agreement with the National Football League. DBS providers also have certain other advantages over us, including a national brand and marketing platform, and greater operational efficiencies resulting from their ability to avoid certain expenses which we incur, principally franchise fees and property taxes.

Phone Companies

Certain phone companies have built, and continue to build, fiber-based networks that allow them to offer video service, which is then bundled with Internet, phone and, in some cases, wireless, services. As of December 31, 2015, approximately 10%, 5% and 5% of our homes passed faced wireline video competition from AT&T, Century Link and Verizon, respectively, based on internal estimates.  The video services offered by these phone companies are substantially similar to ours.  

10


In markets where phone companies do not offer wireline video service, they have typically bundled their Internet and/or phone services with a DBS video service.  AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV in 2015 created a larger combined competitor to our video service, with the ability to bundle its video offering with its wireless service.    

Other Overbuilders

We compete with other operators known as “overbuilders” that operate under non-exclusive franchises granted by local authorities and offer video service to markets representing approximately 20% (excluding the phone companies noted above) of our homes passed. The level of competition provided by these overbuilders varies, depending on the quality of their network and services offered, but they generally market bundled packages similar to ours. Some of these competitors, including municipally-owned entities, may be granted franchises on more favorable terms than ours, or enjoy other advantages, such as exemptions from property taxes or regulatory requirements, and pole rental charges, to which we are subject. We believe there has been limited expansion of such entities in our markets in the past several years.

OTT Video

Our video services face increasing competition from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, DISH’s SlingTV, YouTube and other OTT video providers that offer streaming and downloading of video content over the Internet, often available for a monthly subscription priced meaningfully lower than our video service, or free of charge. In 2015, HBO, Showtime and CBS began selling their programming direct to consumers over the Internet. These services have become increasingly accessible as technological advances have facilitated the ability of consumers to watch OTT video on their television and a variety of platforms and devices. The quality and amount of content offered by these providers continues to improve, with Netflix in particular adding a significant amount of exclusive original content, and other providers such as SlingTV offering linear video including several popular cable networks, including ESPN.  

While we do not believe there has been a meaningful amount of customers replacing traditional video with OTT video, if OTT video services continue to add popular content and grow their customer base, such substitution may accelerate.  Additionally, because OTT video is very popular with younger demographics, there may be an increasing substitution of traditional video if newly formed households were more likely to choose one or several OTT video services as their only video provider.  While increasing use of OTT video services may lead to lower demand for our VOD and, to a lesser extent, video service in general, we expect the associated bandwidth requirements will result in greater HSD customer growth and retention given our competition position.

Other

We also face competition for our video service from over-the-air broadcast television, of which the extent of such competition for our video service is dependent on the quality and quantity of broadcast signals available through an “off-air” antenna;

HSD

Phone Companies

Our HSD service faces its most significant competition from local phone companies, including AT&T, Century Link, Frontier and Verizon, which generally offers digital subscriber line (“DSL”) Internet service, which is limited by technical constraints to maximum speeds considerably slower than ours. These phone companies generally market their DSL service at a lower price than our HSD service, but in certain markets where they have upgraded portions of their network to allow for faster speeds, their higher-speed DSL tiers were typically available at similar or higher prices than ours.

Some phone companies have upgraded portions of their network to a fiber-to-the-node (“FTTN”) system that allows for Internet speeds comparable to our 50 Mbps service or fiber-to-the-home (“FTTH”) systems, which are capable of providing Internet speeds as fast, or faster, than our current speeds. AT&T and CenturyLink have upgraded their networks to FTTN delivery systems in several of our markets, and have announced general plans to continue the expansion of fiber in their network. We compete with FTTH services in a limited number of our markets, principally from Verizon, including certain markets that Frontier has agreed to acquire from Verizon. We generally believe our markets have been a lower priority for these phone companies, given the higher costs associated with building out such fiber networks in lower density markets such as ours, as compared to larger metropolitan markets. However, we may face greater competition for HSD customers if these companies were to continue, or accelerate, the deployment of fiber in markets which we compete.  

11


Wireless Providers

We also face competition from wireless providers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint that offer wireless Internet service. While consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access the Internet through service offered by these wireless providers, given the substantially higher cost to consumers for data usage and, to a lesser extent, slower speeds and lower reliability, we do not believe that wireless Internet service offers a full replacement to our HSD service.  However, certain households or individuals with minimal bandwidth requirements may fully substitute their wireline Internet service for a wireless one.  

Other

Our HSD service also faces limited competition from other providers, including many of the overbuilders noted above, and certain municipalities and commercial entities that have built fiber networks and offer Internet service that competes with ours.  In a limited number of markets outside our service area, Google has launched a FTTH service, and has recently announced plans to expand to additional markets. Some local governments in our footprint are considering or actively pursuing the subsidized build out of additional fiber and/or Wi-Fi networks. Our HSD service also faces competition from certain commercial venues, such as retail shopping areas, restaurants and airports that offer Wi-Fi Internet service, sometimes free of charge. If any of these providers were to significantly expand services in our markets, we would face additional competitive pressures.  

Phone

Our phone service faces its most significant competition from the phone companies noted above that offer wireline phone service that is substantially similar to ours and, increasingly, from the wireless providers noted above. As households continue to utilize cell phones as their only phone service, the number of customers taking a wireline phone service has meaningfully declined, a trend we believe will continue.  

Our phone service also competes with providers of IP-based phone services such as Vonage, Skype and magicJack, and from other forms of communication such as text and video messaging.

Business Services

Our business services primarily compete with the phone companies noted above, many of which have had a historical advantage given long-term relationships with such customers, a nation-wide footprint that allows them to more effectively serve multiple locations, and networks built in certain commercially developed areas that we do not serve.  However, in recent years, we have aggressively marketed our business services and expanded our network into commercial areas, which have led to significant customer and revenue increases associated with business services, which we expect to continue.

Our cell tower backhaul and enterprise-level services also face competition from these local phone companies as well as other carriers, including metro and regional fiber-based carriers.

Advertising

We compete for the sale of advertising against a wide variety of media outlets, including local broadcast stations, national broadcast networks, national and regional programming networks, local radio broadcast stations, local and regional newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Competition has increased and will likely continue to increase as digital and other new formats for advertising seek to attract the same advertisers.

Other Competition

We also face competition for all of our services with all other sources of leisure, news, information and entertainment, including movies, sporting or other live events, radio broadcasts, home video services, console games, print media and the Internet.

There can be no assurance that these or other existing, proposed, or as yet undeveloped technologies will not become dominant in the future and render our cable television systems less profitable or even obsolete.

Employees

As of December 31, 2015, we had 1,879 employees. None of our employees are organized under, or covered by, a collective bargaining agreement. We consider our relations with our employees to be satisfactory.

12


Legislation and Regulation

General

Federal, state and local laws regulate the development and operation of cable systems and, to varying degrees, the services we offer. Significant legal requirements imposed on us because of our status as a cable operator, or by virtue of the services we offer, are described below.

Many of our operations are regulated to a varying degree under different provisions of federal law, principally Title I (information services), Title II (telecommunications services) and Title VI (cable services) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (“Communications Act”).

Recent Significant FCC Activity

HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality

In 2015, the FCC adopted its Open Internet Order changing the historical classification of HSD Services, commonly referred to as broadband Internet access services (“BIAS”), from lightly regulated Title I information services to telecommunications services subject to regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. Although the FCC acted to forebear enforcement of many of Title II’s provisions, the FCC may rescind any or all such forbearance at will. Many of these new requirements took effect on June 12, 2015.

The Open Internet Order established three “bright line rules” that restrict blocking of content, throttling of speed and paid prioritization of traffic (giving certain traffic priority in return for consideration). More generally, a provider of BIAS also cannot unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage: (i) consumers’ ability to select, access or use lawful content, applications, services or devices; or (ii) edge providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services or devices available to consumers. To determine what conduct is “reasonable” or “unreasonable,” the FCC will resolve complaints on a case-by-case basis. Until complaints are filed and resolved, the scope of permitted conduct is not known and this creates regulatory uncertainty.

The Open Internet Order mandates additional consumer disclosures regarding promotional rates, fees, surcharges and data caps or allowances, and packet loss measures. Network management practices must continue to be disclosed with the added requirement of disclosure if a network practice is likely to significantly affect an end user’s use of the service. The Open Internet Order distinguishes so-called “legitimate network management” practices from other business practices.  The unpredictability of FCC enforcement actions was highlighted in June 2015 when the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing a forfeiture fine of $100 million against AT&T for allegedly misleading customers by failing to disclose to customers who purchased so-called “unlimited” data plans that it would throttle back the speed of data customers after a certain amount of data each month.

Our interconnections with other networks in order to exchange broadband traffic are now subject to FCC regulation. These arrangements will be regulated on a case-by-case basis if and as complaints are filed. Until complaints against ISPs are filed and resolved, it is difficult to determine the standards that distinguish permitted from proscribed conduct and, therefore, the potential impact upon our existing interconnection arrangements or future needs.

Our HSD service is now subject to the privacy requirements of Section 222 of the Communications Act traditionally applied to the provision of telephone service. Although the FCC has exercised forbearance from applying its customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules to BIAS, the expected rules may cover a broad swath of data, including clickstream data. Although the FCC has only published a very general pronouncement about the scope of these privacy requirements, press reports state that the FCC may adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) at its meeting on March 31, 2016 that would provide insight into the possible scope and application of the new rules.

In addition to the foregoing, the Open Internet Order will increase universal fund support for broadband service in the future, but the extent, timing and distribution of such funding cannot be currently determined. Any increase in such funding for broadband services may result in the availability of new or increased subsidies for existing competitors or new market entrants.

Following issuance of the Open Internet Order, various entities adversely affected by the Open Internet Order including trade associations representing BIAS providers, as well as certain BIAS providers, commenced judicial challenges to the lawfulness of the rules imposed by the Open Internet Order. Any litigation could delay implementation of some or all of the new rules under the Open Internet Order. Additionally, some members of Congress have attempted, unsuccessfully so far, to enact legislation to reverse the findings or implementation of the Open Internet Order with respect to the FCC’s reclassification of broadband services as telecommunications services under Title II. We cannot predict if challenges will be brought, what actions courts might take or whether legislation will be enacted.

13


Until the development over time of the standards that may be established by the FCC as it makes case-by-case determinations in response to complaints or other filings and adoption of the new privacy rules, we cannot determine the impact that these FCC actions will have on our business, financial condition or results of our operations, or whether that impact will be materially adverse to us.

Preemption of State Restriction of Municipal-Based Broadband Systems

In a limited number of our markets, our products and services face competition from municipally owned electric utilities that have constructed telecommunications systems. Certain of the states in which we operate have adopted laws that impose conditions upon the conduct of a telecommunications business by local municipalities. For example, some states may require voter approval and prohibit cross-subsidization of the telecommunications business by electric, gas and water utility customers.

In February 2015, the FCC adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order preempting certain state laws imposing restrictions or conditions upon the ability of municipal utilities in North Carolina and Tennessee to offer or expand broadband service. Both states have sought judicial review claiming that the FCC lacked authority to preempt the laws of each state. The FCC’s action may result in the filing of additional petitions by municipal-based broadband providers to establish and/or expand systems that provide cable, Internet and phone services, including filings by utilities in states in which we offer broadband service.

Members of Congress have to date unsuccessfully attempted to enact legislation that would strip the FCC of any authority to preempt such state statutory restrictions. We cannot predict whether Congress will intervene through passing legislation and whether or not President Obama would sign such legislation into law. Expansion of municipal-based broadband systems into our service area, especially if directly or indirectly subsidized by taxpayers or municipal utility ratepayers, could be adverse to our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Federal Telecommunications Act Rewrite

Members of Congress have discussed undertaking a rewrite of the telecommunications laws that is necessary to develop laws that can be applied on a technology- and platform-neutral basis. Currently, each technology, regardless of whether it offers a similar service, e.g., multichannel video programming, broadband access or phone service, is regulated in a silo subject to a different regulatory regime. Such treatment often disadvantages one technology compared to others. We cannot predict whether such a rewrite and/or network neutrality legislation to establish a statutory framework to replace the Open Internet Order will occur. Any changes in regulation that would result from a rewrite could affect all of our products and services, the outcome of which, if any, cannot be predicted.

Privacy and Data Security

How we collect, use, disclose and retain personally identifiable information and other sensitive information about our customers and what we do in the event of a data security breach is governed by federal and state laws. In addition, many states in which we operate have also enacted customer privacy statutes, including obligations to notify customers when certain customer information is accessed or believed to have been accessed without authorization. These state provisions are in some cases more restrictive than those in federal law.

The Cable Act imposes a number of restrictions on the manner in which cable operators can collect, disclose and retain data about individual system customers and requires cable operators to take actions to prevent unauthorized access to such information. The statute also requires that the system operator periodically provide all customers with written information about its policies, including the types of information collected; the use of such information; the nature, frequency and purpose of any disclosures; the period of retention; the times and places where a customer may have access to such information; the limitations placed on the cable operator by the Cable Act; and a customer’s enforcement rights. In the event that a cable operator is found to have violated the customer privacy provisions of the Cable Act, it could be required to pay damages, attorneys’ fees and other costs. Certain of these Cable Act requirements have been modified by more recent federal laws. Other federal laws currently impact the circumstances and the manner in which we disclose certain customer information and future federal legislation may further impact our obligations.

As more fully discussed in the Recent Significant FCC Activity – HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality section above, our HSD Service may become subject to a different regulatory framework regarding the collection, use and disclosure of certain customer and network information.

In addition to any privacy laws that may apply to our provision of VoIP services, we must comply with additional privacy provisions contained in the FCC’s CPNI regulations related to certain telephone customer records. In addition to employee training programs and other operating and disciplinary procedures, the CPNI rules require establishment of customer authentication and password protections, limit the means that we may use for such authentication, and provide customer approval prior to certain types of uses or disclosures of CPNI.

14


Pole Attachment Regulation

The Cable Act requires certain public utilities, including all local telephone companies and electric utilities, except those owned by municipalities and co-operatives, to provide cable operators and telecommunications carriers with nondiscriminatory access to poles, ducts, conduits and rights-of-way at just and reasonable rates. This right of access is beneficial to us. Federal law also requires the FCC to regulate the rates, terms and conditions imposed by such public utilities for cable systems’ use of utility pole and conduit space unless state authorities have demonstrated to the FCC that they adequately regulate pole attachment rates, as is the case in certain states in which we operate. In the absence of state regulation, the FCC will regulate pole attachment rates, terms and conditions only in response to a formal complaint. The FCC established a rate formula which governs the maximum rate certain utilities may charge for attachments to their poles and conduit by companies providing telecommunications services, including cable operators.

In 2011, the FCC adopted an Order modifying the pole attachment rules to promote broadband deployment. Previously, poles subject to the FCC attachment rules used a formula that resulted in lower rates for cable attachments and higher rates for telecommunication services attachments. The FCC had previously ruled that the provision of Internet services would not, in and of itself, trigger use of this new formula and the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this decision.

Pursuant to the FCC’s 2011 Order, the telecommunications attachment rate formula would yield results that would approximate the attachment rates for cable television operators. On November 17, 2015, the FCC adopted an Order on Reconsideration that revised the FCC’s pole attachment rate formula to lessen the disparity between the cable and telecommunications rates that arose under certain factual scenarios. As a result, in almost all circumstances the cable and telecommunications rates now approximate each other. Thus, even though it remains unclear whether the reclassification of broadband service as a telecommunications service pursuant to the Open Internet Order discussed more fully in Recent Significant FCC Activity – HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality above, will impact our ability to continue to seek attachment rates computed as a cable operator as opposed to as a telecommunications provider, the practical effect of that distinction has been virtually eliminated. However, to the extent the FCC’s action lowers the pole attachment costs of our competitors, that could adversely impact us.

Universal Service Fund

In 2011, the FCC adopted a series of reforms to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) support mechanism. Included in these reforms was the establishment of the Connect America Fund that will eventually replace certain subsidies previously included in the USF, and will help to make broadband available to areas that do not have or would not have broadband service. Moreover, the FCC will require all entities designated as an “eligible telecommunications carrier” to offer broadband services in addition to voice services. The FCC also announced that it will eventually abandon the calling-party-network-pays model for intercarrier compensation, transitioning to a bill-and-keep model that will eliminate competitive distortions between wireline and wireless services and promote the overall goal of modernizing the rules to aid the transition to all Internet protocol traffic. We cannot predict how these various changes either may add costs or burdens to our existing VoIP and broadband services or how they may potentially benefit those who provide competing services.

In 2012, the FCC issued a Further NPRM which proposed, among other things, imposing USF fees on broadband Internet access, imposing USF contribution requirements on revenues from enterprise communications services and the total amount of bundled service offerings which, if adopted, could impose fees on currently non-assessable services. In August 2014, the FCC issued an order asking the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to make recommendations on the USF contribution methodology; the Board’s recommendations are due to the FCC in April 2015.

We cannot predict whether the FCC will impose USF contribution obligations on any of our HSD services either directly or indirectly through a bundled-offering assessment. Any such increased costs, however, would increase our cost of service to consumers and that could adversely affect our business. As more fully discussed in Recent Significant FCC Activity – HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality above, the Open Internet Order will increase Universal Service Fund support for broadband service in the future; however we cannot currently determine the extent, timing and distribution of such funding. Any increase in such funding for broadband services may subsidize our competitors.

In 2006, the FCC announced that it would require VoIP providers to contribute to the USF based on their interstate service revenues. Beginning in 2007, facilities-based broadband Internet access and interconnected VoIP service providers were required to comply with Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act requirements. Since 2007, the FCC has required interconnected VoIP providers, such as us, to pay regulatory fees based on revenues reported on the FCC Form 499A at the same rate as interstate telecommunications service providers.

15


Cable System Operations and Video Services

Federal Regulation

Title VI of the Communications Act, referred to as the Cable Act, establishes the principal federal regulatory framework for our operation of cable systems and for the provision of our video services. The Cable Act allocates primary responsibility for enforcing the federal policies among the FCC and state and local governmental authorities.

Content Regulations

Must Carry and Retransmission Consent

The FCC’s regulations require local commercial television broadcast stations to elect once every three years whether to require a cable system to carry the primary signal of their stations, subject to certain exceptions, commonly called must-carry, or to negotiate the terms by which the cable system may carry the station on its cable systems, commonly called retransmission consent. The most recent elections took effect January 2016. Through January 1, 2020, Congress bars broadcasters from entering into exclusive retransmission consent agreements. Congress also requires all parties to negotiate retransmission consent agreements in good faith.

The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (“STELA”) grants satellite providers a compulsory license to retransmit signals of television broadcast stations. In 2014, Congress passed the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014 (“STELAR”), which reauthorized the satellite compulsory license for satellite providers through 2019. STELAR also made changes to retransmission consent — prohibiting unaffiliated owned stations from engaging in joint negotiations with multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) and restricting broadcasters from generally limiting carriage of stations that are significantly viewed or otherwise entitled to carriage, and eliminating the restriction on removing or repositioning stations during certain periods of time when network ratings are assessed, known as “sweeps.” In addition, STELAR directed the FCC to conduct several rulemaking proceedings — to make changes to market modification considerations, as well as submit a report to Congress regarding DMAs, more specifically, the availability of distant programming, the impact of DMAs on local programming in rural areas and how to foster localism in counties served by out-of-state DMAs.

On September 2, 2015, the FCC issued an NPRM as required by Section 103(c) of STELAR to review the “totality of the circumstances” test applied, in part, to determine whether parties have attempted to negotiate retransmission consent in good faith. The FCC also inquires as to whether certain actions should evidence bad faith, including, for example, broadcaster blocking of online access to its programming, relinquishing the right to negotiate retransmission consent to a third party, insistence on bundling broadcast signals with other broadcast stations or cable networks, threats to blackout a signal just before marquis entertainment or sports events and demands for fees for non-cable customers. We cannot predict whether the FCC will modify its rules or the impact of any such modifications. If the FCC fails to modify its rules, such action could be seen as an endorsement of current broadcaster negotiating tactics that often introduce challenges to the negotiation of retransmission consent agreements.

In 2014, the FCC issued an NPRM revisiting the definition of an MVPD, whether it should be technology-neutral to allow inclusion of certain Internet-delivered video services, the impact of such change on various industry players and consumers, and how to ensure any change promotes competition and broadband adoption. We cannot predict when, or if, the FCC will implement any new rules or change existing rules or the impact that any new rules or legislation may have on our business. Any new rules or legislation that would strengthen the relative negotiating position of broadcasters or the competitive position of Internet-delivered video service providers could have an adverse effect on our business.

In 2014, the FCC and Congress each took steps to restrict unaffiliated broadcast stations in the same market from continuing to avoid federal broadcast ownership limitations and from jointly negotiating retransmission agreements pursuant to joint sales agreements between the stations. While the FCC’s 2014 order placed limits on only certain broadcast stations, Congress, with the passage of STELAR, expanded the scope of the ban to include all unaffiliated broadcast stations and required the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to review the totality of circumstances test for good faith negotiations. We cannot predict the outcome of this proceeding, or the impact that these changes may have on our business.

We carry both must-carry broadcast stations and broadcast stations that have granted retransmission consent. A significant number of local broadcast stations carried by our cable systems have elected to negotiate for retransmission consent, and we have entered into retransmission consent agreements with substantially all of them. Retransmission consent agreements representing approximately 15% of our video customers receiving local broadcast stations will expire and require renegotiation prior to December 31, 2016.

Syndicated Exclusivity/Network Non-duplication/Sports Blackout

Pursuant to FCC regulations, under certain circumstances, broadcasters can bar us from carrying certain network and syndicated programming. In March 2014, the FCC issued a Further NPRM to expand the record on whether it should eliminate the ability of

16


broadcasters to impose such restrictions on us. In addition, FCC regulations long prohibited cable and satellite operators from transmitting any sports event that had been blacked out by a local broadcaster. In September 2014, the FCC removed this prohibition.

Other Content Regulations

On February 18, 2016, the FCC issued an order reapportioning the responsibilities regarding closed captioning quality, between video programming distributors (“VPDs”) and video programming owners and producers. Initially, the burden had ultimately been borne by VPDs. Moreover, the FCC also adopted a burden-shifting model for investigation of complaints that can, in certain instances, shift the investigatory obligations to the owners or producers.

In 2013, the FCC adopted rules to implement certain sections of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 that impose certain accessibility requirements on navigation devices and digital apparatus that utilize encryption or other forms of conditional access to display video programming. Such devices must make on-screen text menus and guides for the display or selection of MVPD programming audibly accessible and make video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. We cannot predict the impact that these rules may have on our business. On November 18, 2015, the FCC adopted additional rules requiring MVPDs to not rely solely on voice controls to activate closed captioning, specified customer notification requirements on manufacturers to publicize the availability of audible on-screen program guides and established information and documentation that must be made available to persons with disabilities and specified customer service training requirement topics for MVPDs.

Use of Our Cable Systems by the Government and Unrelated Third Parties

The Cable Act allows local franchising authorities and unrelated third parties to obtain access to a portion of our cable systems’ channel capacity for their own use through channels set aside for PEG programming and requires most cable operators to designate a significant portion of its activated channel capacity for commercial leased access by third parties to provide programming that may compete with services offered by the cable operator.

Access to Certain Programming

In 2011, as part of its order approving Comcast Corporation’s acquisition of a controlling interest in NBC Universal, the FCC specified certain terms and conditions by which Comcast and NBC Universal are required to provide programming to both traditional MVPDs, and OTT video providers, as well as provided for the availability of commercial arbitration mechanisms. While the net effect of these provisions could reduce the cost of such programming to us, it also may increase the availability and lower the cost of such programming to our MVPD competitors. However, the provisions could also make it easier for us to carry such programming via an Internet-based video service should we choose to offer one in the future. We cannot predict the effect of these conditions, if any, on our business.

The FCC had previously preliminarily determined that the definition of an MVPD was limited to facilities-based providers, thus excluding “over-the-top” video distributors. In December 2014, the FCC initiated an NPRM regarding the potential expansion of the definition of a MVPD to include certain Internet-delivered and/or non-facilities-based providers. While we cannot predict whether the FCC will take any action, any such expansion of definition may increase the availability of some popular video programming to non-facilities-based providers, thus potentially strengthening their ability to compete with us and adversely affecting our business.

Cable Equipment

The Cable Act and FCC regulations gave consumers the right to purchase set-top converters from third parties as long as the equipment does not harm the network, does not interfere with services purchased by other customers and is not used to receive unauthorized services. On February 18, 2016, the FCC adopted an NPRM and Memorandum Opinion and Order that removed the ban on the integration of security and non-security function in set-tops and proposed new rules aimed at increasing the availability of navigation devices or apps that have the functional equivalency of set-tops from providers unaffiliated with an MVPD. To accomplish this, the FCC proposed rules requiring MVPDs to split their signal into three core information streams: (i) Service discovery: information about what programming is available to the consumer, such as the channel listing and video-on-demand lineup, and what is on those channels; (ii) Entitlements: information about what a device is allowed to do with content, such as recording; and (iii) Content delivery: the video programming itself. The FCC declined to establish standards, instead recommending that they be established by an unnamed independent open standards body. It remains unclear whether these rules, if adopted, would interfere with contractual security requirements of programming networks, impair subscriber privacy, impair or duplicate an MVPD’s ability to capture and use viewing information or otherwise adversely impact the subscriber experience. Should these or similar rules ultimately be enacted, we cannot predict what reengineering of our systems would be required, if any, or the cost of implementing and proving such split streams of information. We also cannot predict whether a subscriber’s use of such alternative device or app would impair our accessibility to or the value of viewing information.

17


The FCC has proposed a certification whereby each such device or app manufacturer would declare that such device or app would not disrupt the MVPD’s compliance with a variety of regulations, including, for example, passing through EAS messages and adhering to limits on children’s advertising. However, it remains unclear that such certification would shield an MVPD from liability for non-compliance.

The proposed rules would also require each MVPD to offer a form of downloadable security by offering at least one content protection system that would be openly licensed on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Such a security system would have a trust authority that issues certificates and keys that was not controlled by any MVPD or group of MVPDs.  It remains unclear whether the use of such third-party security or use of a third-party trust authority would cause security vulnerabilities that could raise our exposure to unauthorized access to the content that we provide as part of our services and resulting liability.

We cannot predict whether the proposed rules will be adopted or in what form. But any change that inserts a third party not under our control into the delivery stream of cable service as a replacement for functionality that we currently provide could adversely affect us in numerous ways, such as increasing our costs, decreasing customer satisfaction, causing early retirement of customer premises equipment for which we have not recovered our investment and increasing our exposure to liability from security breaches.

The proposed rules would require all MVPDs after January 1, 2017, to state separately a charge for leased navigation devices, including not only set-tops but also modems and routers, and to limit the amount that could be charged for such leased devices. The FCC also seeks input as to whether it should impose anti-subsidy provisions to prevent MVPDs from under-pricing leased navigation devices to avoid zero or near-zero pricing to thwart development of third-party alternatives. We cannot predict whether this rule or any additional requirement may be adopted, however, any restrictions on how we price or package our leased navigation devices could adversely affect our revenue stream from those devices.

Multiple Dwelling Unit Building Wiring

The FCC has adopted cable inside wiring rules to provide a more specific procedure for the disposition of residential home wiring and internal building wiring that belongs to an incumbent cable operator that is forced by the building owner to terminate its cable services in a building with multiple dwelling units. The FCC has issued rules voiding existing, and prohibiting future, exclusive service contracts for services to multiple dwelling unit or other residential developments, however, the FCC has affirmed the permissibility of bulk rate agreements and exclusive marketing agreements. Our inability to secure such express rights in the future may adversely affect our business to customers residing in multiple dwelling unit buildings and certain other residential developments.

Copyright

Our cable systems typically include in their channel line-ups local and distant television and radio broadcast signals, which are protected by the copyright laws. We generally do not obtain a license to use this programming directly from the owners of the copyrights associated with this programming, but instead comply with an alternative federal compulsory copyright licensing process. In exchange for filing certain reports and contributing a percentage of our revenues to a federal copyright royalty pool, we obtain blanket permission to retransmit the copyrighted material carried on these broadcast signals. The nature and amount of future copyright payments for broadcast signal carriage cannot be predicted at this time.

DBS providers, to become more competitive with cable operators, operate under a similar statutory compulsory license that unlike that of cable operators, has a fixed term. In 2014, Congress extended the satellite compulsory license through 2019. As part of that legislation, Congress required the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) to conduct another study regarding carriage and copyright issues relating to broadcast programming and the impact of the current regulatory regime on consumers. Pursuant to an earlier mandate, in 2011, GAO issued a report to Congress that found that the impact of a phase-out of the compulsory copyright licenses would have an uncertain impact on the market and regulatory environment. In part, the scheme (i.e., direct licensing, collective licensing or sublicensing) that would replace the compulsory licenses would impact the outcome. Additionally, in 2008 and 2011 the Copyright Office issued reports to Congress recommending phasing out the distant signal compulsory license. We cannot predict whether Congress will eliminate the cable compulsory license, or what scheme would replace it, if any; however, any loss of the current compulsory license could increase our costs.

State and Local Regulation

Franchise Matters

Our cable systems use local streets and rights-of-way. Consequently, we must comply with state and local regulation, which is typically imposed through the franchising process. We have non-exclusive franchises granted by municipal, state or other local government entities for virtually every community in which we operate that authorize us to construct, operate and maintain our cable systems. Our franchises generally are granted for fixed terms and in many cases are terminable if we fail to comply with material

18


provisions. The terms and conditions of our franchises vary materially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Each franchise granted by a municipal or local governmental entity generally contains provisions governing:

·

franchise fees;

·

franchise term;

·

system construction and maintenance obligations;

·

system channel capacity;

·

design and technical performance;

·

customer service standards;

·

sale or transfer of the franchise; and

·

territory of the franchise.

Although franchising matters have traditionally been regulated at the local level through a franchise agreement and/or a local ordinance, many states now allow or require cable service providers to bypass the local process and obtain franchise agreements or equivalent authorizations directly from state government. Many of the states in which we operate, including California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and North Carolina make state-issued franchises available, which typically contain less restrictive provisions than those issued by municipal or other local government entities. State-issued franchises in many states generally allow local telephone companies or others to deliver services in competition with our cable service without obtaining equivalent local franchises. In states where available, we are generally able to obtain state-issued franchises upon expiration of our existing franchises. Our business may be adversely affected to the extent that our competitors are able to operate under franchises that are more favorable than our existing local franchises. While most franchising matters are dealt with at the state and/or local level, the Cable Act provides oversight and guidelines to govern our relationship with local franchising authorities whether they are at the state, county or municipal level.

HSD Service

Federal Regulation and Network Neutrality

For a complete discussion of the federal regulatory status and network neutrality requirements, see Recent Significant FCC Activity – HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

We regularly receive notices of claimed infringements by our HSD service users. The owners of copyrights and trademarks have been increasingly active in seeking to prevent use of the Internet to violate their rights. In many cases, their claims of infringement are based on the acts of customers of an Internet service provider — for example, a customer’s use of an Internet service or the resources it provides to post, download or disseminate copyrighted music, movies, software or other content without the consent of the copyright owner or to seek to profit from the use of the goodwill associated with another person’s trademark. In some cases, copyright and trademark owners have sought to recover damages from the Internet service provider, as well as or instead of the customer. The law relating to the potential liability of Internet service providers in these circumstances is unsettled. In 1996, Congress adopted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is intended to grant ISPs protection against certain claims of copyright infringement resulting from the actions of customers, provided that the ISP complies with certain requirements. So far, Congress has not adopted similar protections for trademark infringement claims.

International Law

Our HSD service enables individuals to access the Internet and to exchange information, generate content, conduct business and engage in various online activities on an international basis. The law relating to the liability of providers of these online services for activities of their users is currently unsettled both within the United States and abroad. Potentially, third parties could seek to hold us liable for the actions and omissions of our HSD customers, such as defamation, negligence, copyright or trademark infringement, fraud or other theories based on the nature and content of information that our customers use our service to post, download or distribute. We also could be subject to similar claims based on the content of other websites to which we provide links or third-party products, services or content that we may offer through our Internet service. Due to the global nature of the Web, it is possible that the governments of other states and foreign countries might attempt to regulate its transmissions or prosecute us for violations of their laws.

19


State and Local Regulation and Competition

Our HSD services provided over our cable systems have not generally subject to regulation by state or local jurisdictions. We cannot predict whether or not our HSD services will become subject to increased state regulation as a result of the Open Internet Order as more fully discussed in the Recent Significant FCC Activity HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality section, above, or if they are, the impact that such regulation would have on our business.

Voice-over-Internet Protocol Phone Service

Federal Law

The 1996 amendments to the Cable Act created a more favorable regulatory environment for cable operators to enter the phone business. Most major cable operators now offer voice-over-Internet protocol (“VoIP”) phone service as a competitive alternative to traditional circuit-switched telephone service. Various states, including states where we operate, considered or attempted differing regulatory treatment, ranging from minimal or no regulation to heavily-regulated common carrier status. As part of the proceeding to determine any appropriate regulatory obligations for VoIP phone service, the FCC decided that alternative voice technologies, like certain types of VoIP phone service, should be regulated only at the federal level, rather than by individual states. Many implementation details remain unresolved, and there are substantial regulatory changes being considered that could either benefit or harm VoIP phone service as a business operation.

Federal Regulatory Obligations

The FCC has applied some traditional landline telephone provider regulations to VoIP services. In addition to certain USF obligations as discussed in Recent Significant FCC Activity HSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality section, above, the FCC also has extended other regulations and reporting requirements to VoIP providers, including E-911, CPNI, local number portability, disability access, Form 477 (subscriber information) reporting obligations, international service revenue reporting and outage reporting. In 2010, the FCC issued an NOI and an NPRM that would transition high-cost program funds from analog phone service to the provision of broadband services.

State and Local Regulation

Although our entities that provide VoIP phone service services are certificated as competitive local exchange carriers in most of the states in which they operate, they generally provide few, if any, services in that capacity. Rather, we provide VoIP services that are not generally subject to regulation by state or local jurisdictions. The FCC has preempted some state commission regulation of VoIP services, but has stated that its preemption does not extend to state consumer protection requirements. Some states continue to attempt to impose obligations on VoIP service providers, including state universal service fund payment obligations.


20


 IITEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to our Operations

We face intense competition that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We face significant competition for each of our products and services from a growing number of competitors that offer a wide range of communication, entertainment and information services. Many of our competitors have, compared to us, greater financial resources, more favorable brand recognition, fewer regulatory burdens and long-standing relationships with regulatory authorities and customers. Technological advances and changes in consumer behavior and demands have led to an increasing number of companies that offer new products and services that compete with ours, including “over-the-top” (“OTT”) video, and wireless Internet and phone services.

We face significant competition for video service from:

 

·

DBS providers, principally DirecTV and DISH, that compete for video customers with satellite-delivered video packages throughout our footprint;

 

·

Phone companies, including AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon, that offer a wireline video service substantially similar to ours in markets representing 20% of our homes passed;

 

·

Other overbuilders offering a similar video service to ours in markets representing 20% of our homes passed;

 

·

OTT video providers such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, SlingTV and YouTube that are offering increasingly comprehensive video content, including exclusive content, for fees meaningfully lower than ours or for free of charge; and

 

·

Certain video content providers such as CBS and HBO that have recently launched stand-alone OTT video offerings .that market their programming direct to consumers.

Our HSD service faces its most meaningful competition from:

 

·

Phone companies, including AT&T, Century Link, Frontier and Verizon, that primarily offer lower-priced DSL Internet service, which is limited by technical constraints to speeds considerably slower than ours, and, in portions of their networks that have been upgraded to a FTTN or FTTH delivery system, Internet service comparable to our HSD service;

 

·

Wireless providers, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint, that offer wireless Internet service that may fully suffice for certain consumers with lower bandwidth requirements; and

 

·

Other providers of Internet access, including other overbuilders, municipalities and commercial entities that have built, or are considering building, fiber and/or Wi-Fi networks that may compete with our HSD service;

Other services we provide also face significant competition:

 

·

Our phone service primarily competes with the phone companies noted above that offer substantially similar services to ours throughout our footprint, with wireless providers as “wireless substitution” of wireline phone continues to proliferate, and with providers of IP-based phone services and other forms of communication including text and video messaging;

 

·

We generally compete for business services customers with phone companies and, for our cell tower backhaul and enterprise level services, with other competitors, including metro and regional fiber-based carriers;

 

·

We compete for advertising sales with a wide variety of media outlets, which will likely remain increasingly competitive as digital and other new formats of advertising seek to attract the same advertisers.

Although we have generally eliminated or reduced tactical discounts for customers not likely to purchase two or more services or to stay with us for an extended period, in order to attract new customers and maintain our existing customer base, we continue to make certain promotional offers that include short-term discounted service or equipment rates, which may result in lower revenues and greater marketing expenses and capital expenditures. Customers who subscribe to our services as a result of these offerings may not remain customers following the end of the promotional period, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

For additional information regarding our competitors, see “Business Description – Competition.”

21


Continued increases in programming costs may drive the pricing of our video services to levels that prospective and existing customers deem unaffordable, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Video programming expenses have historically been, and we expect will continue to be, our largest single expense item and, in recent years, have reflected substantial per-unit percentage increases. The rate of increase in such expenses has been well in excess of the inflation rate and increase in U.S. wages, primarily caused by higher per unit rates for national and regional sports and other popular cable networks and rapidly rising retransmission consent fees imposed by local broadcast stations.

We believe these expenses will continue to grow at a significant rate because of the demands of large media conglomerates or other owners of most of the popular cable networks and major market local broadcast stations, and large independent television broadcast groups, who own, control or otherwise represent a significant number of local broadcast stations across the country and, in some cases, own or control multiple stations in the same market.  Consolidation among these independent broadcast station groups has been significant over the past several years, and given recent proposed and completed transactions in the broadcast marketplace, the pace of consolidation has accelerated. As a result, the independent broadcast groups have become much larger based on the number of stations that they own in our markets. This will strengthen their position by allowing them to negotiate on behalf of a larger amount of local stations at one time.

Moreover, many of those powerful owners of programming require us to purchase their networks and stations in bundles and dictate how we offer them to our video customers, and impose economic penalties if we fail to comply. Consequently, we have little or no ability to individually or selectively negotiate for networks or local broadcast stations, to forego purchasing networks or local broadcast stations that generate low subscriber interest, to offer sports programming services, such as ESPN and regional sports networks, on one or more separate tiers, or to offer networks or stations on an a la carte basis to give our customers more choice and potentially lower their costs. In many instances, programmers have created additional networks and migrated popular programming, particularly sports programming, to these new networks that contributed to the increases in our programming costs. Additionally, we believe certain programmers may also demand higher fees from us in an effort to partially offset declines in their advertising revenue as more advertisers allocate a greater portion of their spending to Internet advertising. These practices, along with costs associated with offering the same programming on additional outlets including online and VOD platforms, increase our programming expense.  Because of the leverage these large programming companies have over us, we also are obligated to carry additional programming that we would otherwise not offer, which increases our programming expense and lowers our capacity to introduce other new products and services.

If we are unable to successfully negotiate new agreements with these programmers before our current agreements expire, the programmers could require us to cease carrying their signals, possibly for an indefinite period, which may result in a loss of video customers and advertising revenue. On certain occasions in the past, negotiations have led to disputes with programmers that have resulted in temporary periods where we were not carrying a particular broadcast network or programming service or services, which increases the risk of customer dissatisfaction and the loss of customers. Because of the leverage these large programming companies have over us, we also may be obligated to carry additional programming that we would otherwise not offer, which may increase our programming expenses and lower our capacity to introduce other new products or services. We may also selectively choose not to renew our agreements with certain content providers if we believe it is uneconomical to do so, which could result in a loss of video customers and advertising revenues. In addition, if our HSD customers are unable to access desirable content online because content providers block or limit access by our customers if we do not carry their video programming, we may have difficulty retaining certain HSD customers.

While we attempt to offset such growth in programming expenses by customer rate increases, including the direct pass-through of increases in retransmission consent and regional sports network fees, our video gross margins will likely continue to decline given the outsized increases to our programming costs we expect in the future. If increases in our programming costs were to drive the pricing of our video services to levels that are deemed unaffordable, our customers may no longer purchase our video services and instead rely on over-the-air viewing or use an OTT video service, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Weak economic conditions may adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Most of our revenues are sourced from consumers whose spending behavior is impacted by prevailing economic conditions.  We believe the historically slower economic recovery from the recession, including the uneven gains in household income, occupied housing and new housing starts, has largely contributed to lower sales and connect activity for all of our residential services and negatively impacted our residential customer and revenue growth.  Weak job and business creation, occupied housing levels, personal income growth and consumer confidence can adversely impact demand for our services, and may cause increased cancellations by our customers or lead to unfavorable changes in the mix of products taken. The expanded availability of free or lower cost services that may compete with ours, including OTT video and wireless Internet available in certain commercial or public locations, may further

22


pressure our customer retention. Weak economic conditions also may decrease advertising demand and negatively impact our  advertising revenues.

Because our video service is an established and highly penetrated business, our ability to gain new video customers depends, in part, on growth in occupied housing in our service areas, which is influenced by both local and national economic conditions. If the number of occupied homes in our service areas were to decline or not grow at all, our ability to attract and retain new video customers may be negatively impacted, and could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Significant increases in the use of bandwidth-intensive Internet-based services could increase our costs.

If growth of bandwidth-intensive services, particularly OTT video, exceeds, the already accelerated rates we have experienced over the last several years, we may need to make greater capital investments than current expectations to expand the bandwidth capacity of our systems and to ensure the quality of service provided to our HSD customers. To continue to provide quality service at attractive prices, we need flexibility to develop and refine business models that respond to changing consumer uses and demands and to manage bandwidth usage efficiently. Our ability to implement such business models could be restricted by regulatory and legislative efforts to impose so-called “net neutrality” requirements on cable operators like us that provide HSD service. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — GeneralRecent Significant FCC Activity.”

Business services are making increasing contributions to our results of operations and we face risks as we attempt to further expand these services.

Business services are making increasing contributions to our results of operations, and we may encounter challenges as we attempt to further expand the delivery of HSD and phone to small- and medium-sized businesses, and data networking and fiber connectivity to medium- and large-sized businesses and wireless carriers’ cellular towers. To accommodate this expansion, we expect to continue to commit significant capital investments on technology, equipment and personnel focused on our business services. If we are unable to sufficiently build the necessary infrastructure and internal support functions to scale and expand our customer base, the potential growth of business services would be limited. In many cases, business service customers have service level agreements that require us to provide higher standards of service and reliability. If we are unable to meet these service level requirements, or more broadly, the expectations of SMB and enterprise customers, or we fail to properly scale and support these activities, our results of operations may be adversely affected.

If we are unable to keep pace with rapid technological developments and respond effectively to changes in consumer behavior and demand, our business, financial condition and results of operation may be adversely affected.

We operate in a rapidly changing environment and our success depends, in part, on our ability to maintain or improve our competitive position by acquiring, developing, adopting and exploiting new and existing technologies to distinguish our services. Continued development of newer technologies and services, particularly alternative methods for the distribution, sale and viewing of video content, and rapidly evolving consumer preferences, will likely continue to drive expansion of the products and services offered by our existing competitors and increase the number of competitors that we face.  Next-generation technology may allow new or existing wireless Internet providers to offer a service that more adequately suffices as a full replacement for our HSD service than those currently offered. If our competitors were to introduce new or enhanced products and services that we do not currently offer, or that retail or business customers find more compelling, we may be required to deploy greater levels of capital investment to maintain our competitive position. We may also recognize lower revenues if such new products and services require us to offer certain of our existing services at a lower or no cost to our customers. Such changes could cause our business, financial condition and results of operation may be adversely affected.

To keep pace with future developments, we must choose third-party suppliers whose technologies or equipment are more effective, cost-efficient and attractive to customers than those offered by our competitors. We rely on third-party providers to make available to us new, cost-effective set-tops and programming guides that allow us to offer our video customers an enhanced user experience. If our vendors were unable to provide set-tops and programming guides that our customers prefer in a timely manner, compared to those offered by our competitors, we may experience greater video customer losses, and our business, financial condition and results of operation may be adversely affected.

We depend on network and information systems and other technologies to operate our businesses. A disruption or failure in such networks, systems or technologies resulting from “cyber-attacks,” natural disasters or other material events outside our control have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Because of the importance of network and information systems and other technologies to our business, disruptions or failures caused by “cyber-attacks” such as computer hacking, computer viruses, denial of service attacks, worms or other disruptive software could have a devastating impact on our business. Both unsuccessful and successful “cyber-attacks” on companies have continued to increase

23


in frequency, scope and potential harm in recent years. Because the techniques used in such attacks have become more sophisticated and change frequently, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. Such “cyber-attacks” may result in misappropriation, misuse, leakage, falsification and accidental release or loss of information maintained in our information technology system and networks, including customer, personnel and vendor data. We could also be subject to employee error or malfeasance, or other disruptions.

As a result of the increasing awareness concerning the importance of safeguarding personal information and the potential misuse of such information, businesses such as ours that handle a large amount of personal customer data are subject to legislation that has been adopted or is being considered regarding the protection, privacy and security of personal information and information-related risks. We may also provide certain customer and employee information to third parties in connection with our business. While we obtain assurance such data will be protected by these third-parties, they are potentially vulnerable to the same threats noted above. If such risks were to materialize, we may be subject to significant costs and expenses, or damage to our reputation and credibility, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our network and information systems are also vulnerable to damage resulting from power outages, natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other material events that are outside our control. Any such event may degrade or disrupt our service, lead to excessive volume at our call centers, and damage our plant, equipment, data and reputation. While we generally implement redundant systems to allow our network to continue to function in an outage, these measures may be ineffective in certain events. We are unable to predict the impact of such events, and any resulting customer or revenue losses, or increases in costs and expenses or capital expenditures, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We are unable to predict the impact of such events, and any resulting customer or revenue losses, or increases in costs and expenses or capital expenditures, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We may be unable to secure necessary hardware, software, telecommunications components and their operational support, and the related product development, which may impair our ability to provision and service our customers and to compete effectively.

Third-party firms supply most of the components used in delivering our products and services, including set-tops, DVRs and VOD equipment; interactive programming guides; cable modems; routers and other switching equipment; provisioning and other software; network connections for our phone services; fiber-optic cable and construction services for expansion and upgrades of our network; and our customer billing platform. Some of these companies may have negotiating leverage over us because they are the sole supplier of certain products and services, or because there may be a long lead time and/or significant expense required to transition to another provider. We also rely on these third-party firms to develop next-generation technology so that we may stay competitive with the latest products and services, and such reliance may result in less product innovation or higher costs than we would experience with multiple suppliers. In many cases, these hardware, software and operational support vendors and service providers have, either through contract or as a result of intellectual property rights, a position of some exclusivity, and our operations depend on a successful relationship with these companies.

Any delays or disruptions in the relationship as a result of contractual disagreements, operational or financial failures on the part of the suppliers, or other adverse events affecting these suppliers could negatively affect our ability to effectively provision and service our customers. We may face significant lapses in service and costs to upgrade our networks to allow them to operate with alternate equipment if such events were to occur, which would negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business depends on certain intellectual property rights and on not infringing on the intellectual property rights of others.

We rely on our copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as licenses and other agreements with our vendors and other parties, to use our technologies, conduct our operations and sell our products and services. Third-party firms have in the past, and may in the future, assert claims or initiate litigation related to patent, copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property rights to technologies and related standards that are relevant to us. These assertions have increased over time as a result of our growth and the general increase in the pace of patent claims assertions, particularly in the United States. Recently, the number of intellectual property infringement claims has been increasing in the communications and entertainment fields, and from time to time, we have been party to litigation alleging that certain of our services or technologies infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others. Because of the large number of patents in the networking field, the secrecy of some pending patents and the rapid rate of issuance of new patents, it is not economically practical or, in some cases, possible to determine in advance whether a product or any of its components infringes or will infringe on the patent rights of others. Asserted claims and/or initiated litigation can include claims against us or our manufacturers, suppliers, or customers, alleging infringement of their proprietary rights with respect to our existing or future products and/or services or components of those products and/or services. Regardless of the merit of these claims, they can be time-consuming to defend; result in costly litigation and diversion of technical and management personnel; and require us to develop a non-infringing

24


technology or enter into license agreements. There can be no assurance that licenses will be available on acceptable terms and conditions, if at all, or that any indemnification by our suppliers will be adequate to cover our costs if a claim were brought directly against us or our customers. Furthermore, because of the potential for high monetary awards that are not predictable, it is not unusual to find even arguably unmeritorious claims settled for significant amounts.

If any infringement or other intellectual property claim made against us by any third-party is successful, if we are required to indemnify a customer with respect to a claim against the customer, or if we fail to develop non-infringing technology or license the proprietary rights on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

The loss of key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our success is substantially dependent upon the retention of, and the continued performance by, MCC’s key personnel, including Rocco B. Commisso, MCC’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. If any of MCC’s key personnel cease to participate in our business and operations, it could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to our Financial Condition

We have a significant amount of debt, and the associated interest and principal payments could limit our operational flexibility and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations.

As of December 31, 2015, our total debt was $1.170 billion. Given our substantial debt, we are highly leveraged and will continue to be so. Our debt obligations require us to use a large portion of our cash flows from operations to pay interest and principal payments on such debt, reducing our ability to finance our operations, capital expenditures and other activities.

Our significant amount of debt and associated debt service requirements could have adverse consequences, such as:

 

·

limiting our ability to obtain additional financing in the future on terms acceptable to us or at all, to refinance our existing indebtedness;

 

·

exposing us to greater interest expense in the future as a result of having to refinance existing debt on less favorable terms than we currently experience, or due to higher market interest rates on 44% of our debt that is exposed to variable rates;

 

·

limiting our ability to react to changes in our business, which may place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors with less debt and stronger liquidity positions;

 

·

restricting us from making necessary capital expenditures or from pursuing strategic acquisitions, or causing us to make divestitures of strategic or non-strategic assets; and

 

·

increasing our vulnerability to adverse economic, industry and competitive conditions.

If we are unable to obtain financing on acceptable terms, or at all, to refinance our debt as it comes due, we would need to take other actions, including selling assets or seeking strategic investments from third parties, potentially on unfavorable terms, and deferring capital expenditures or other discretionary uses of cash. Such potential asset sales or third-party investments could adversely affect our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition, and any significant reduction in capital expenditures could affect our ability to compete effectively. If such measures were to become necessary, there can be no assurance that we would be able to sell assets or raise strategic investment capital sufficient enough to meet our scheduled debt maturities as they come due.

The financial markets are subject to volatility and disruptions, which may adversely affect our access to, or the cost of, new capital or our ability to refinance our scheduled debt maturities and other obligations as they come due.

Volatility and disruptions in the capital and credit markets as a result of uncertainty, changing or increased regulation of financial institutions, reduced alternatives or failures of significant financial institutions could adversely affect our access to the liquidity needed for our businesses. Such disruptions could require us to take measures to conserve cash until the markets stabilize or until alternative credit arrangements or other funding for our business needs can be arranged.

Our access to funds under our revolving credit commitments is dependent on the ability of the financial institutions that are parties to those facilities to meet their funding commitments. Those financial institutions may not be able to meet their funding commitments if they experience shortages of capital and liquidity or if they experience excessive volumes of borrowing requests within a short period of time. Moreover, the obligations of the financial institutions under our revolving credit commitments are several and not joint and, as a result, a funding default by one or more institutions does not need to be made up by the others.

25


We are a holding company, and if our operating subsidiaries are unable to make funds available to us, we may not be able to fund our indebtedness and other obligations.

We are a holding company, and do not have any operations or hold any assets other than our investments in, and our advances to, our operating subsidiaries. These operating subsidiaries conduct all of our consolidated operations and own substantially all of our consolidated assets. Our operating subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities and have no obligation, contingent or otherwise, to make funds available to us.

The only source of cash that we have to fund our senior notes (including, without limitation, the payment of interest on, and the repayment of, principal) is the cash that our operating subsidiaries generate from operations and from borrowing under the credit facility. The ability of our operating subsidiaries to make funds available to us, in the form of payments of principal or interest due under intercompany notes due to us, dividends, loans, advances or other payments, will depend upon the operating results of such subsidiaries, applicable laws and contractual restrictions, including the covenants set forth in the credit agreement governing the credit facility (the “credit agreement”). If our operating subsidiaries were unable to make funds available to us, then we may not be able to make payments of principal or interest due under our senior notes. If such an event occurred, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as refinancing our senior notes or the outstanding debt of our operating subsidiaries at or before maturity, or raising additional capital through debt or equity issuance, or both. If we were not able to successfully accomplish those tasks, then we may have to take other actions, including selling assets or seeking strategic investments from third parties, potentially on unfavorable terms, and deferring capital expenditures or other discretionary uses of cash.

There can be no assurance that any of the foregoing actions would be successful. Any inability to meet our debt service obligations or refinance our indebtedness would materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

A default under our credit agreement or indenture could result in an acceleration of our indebtedness and other material adverse effects.

As of December 31, 2015, the principal financial covenants of the credit agreement required compliance with a total leverage ratio (as defined in the credit agreement) of no more than 5.0 to 1.0 at any time and an interest coverage ratio (as defined in the credit agreement) of no less than 2.0 to 1.0 at the end of a quarterly period. The credit agreement also contains various other covenants that, among other things, impose certain limitations on mergers and acquisitions, consolidations and sales of certain assets, liens, restricted payments and certain transactions with affiliates. See Note 6 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

As of December 31, 2015, the principal financial covenant of the indenture governing our senior notes (the “indenture”) was a limitation on the incurrence of additional indebtedness based upon a maximum debt to operating cash flow ratio (as defined in the indenture) of 8.5 to 1.0. The indenture also contains various other covenants, though they are generally less restrictive than those found in our credit facility. See Note 6 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

The breach of any of the covenants under the credit agreement or indenture could cause a default, which may result in the indebtedness becoming immediately due and payable. If this were to occur, we would be unable to adequately finance our operations. The membership interests of our operating subsidiaries are pledged as collateral under our credit facility. A default under our credit agreement could result in a foreclosure by the lenders on the membership interests pledged under that facility. Because we are dependent upon our operating subsidiaries for all of our cash flows, a foreclosure would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations.

In the event of a liquidation or reorganization of any of our subsidiaries, the creditors of any of such subsidiaries, including trade creditors, would be entitled to a claim on the assets of such subsidiaries prior to any claims of the stockholders of any such subsidiaries, and those creditors are likely to be paid in full before any distribution is made to such stockholders. To the extent that we, or any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries, are a creditor of another of our subsidiaries, the claims of such creditor could be subordinated to any security interest in the assets of such subsidiary and/or any indebtedness of such subsidiary senior to that held by such creditor.

A lowering or cessation of the ratings assigned to our debt securities by ratings agencies may increase our future borrowing costs and reduce our access to capital.

Our future access to the debt markets and the terms and conditions we receive are influenced by our debt ratings. MCC’s corporate credit ratings are Ba3 by Moody’s, and BB by Standard and Poor’s (“S&P”), both with stable outlooks. Our senior unsecured ratings are B2 by Moody’s, and B+ by S&P, both with stable outlooks. There can be no assurance that Moody’s or S&P will maintain their ratings on MCC and us. A negative change to these credit ratings could result in higher interest rates on future debt issuance than we currently experience, or adversely impact our ability to raise additional funds.

26


Impairment of our goodwill and other intangible assets could cause significant losses.

As of December 31, 2015, we had approximately $638.6 million of unamortized intangible assets, including franchise rights of $614.7 million and goodwill of $23.9 million on our consolidated balance sheets. These intangible assets represented approximately 41% of our total assets.

Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) No. 350 — Intangibles — Goodwill and Other (“ASC 350”) requires that goodwill and other intangible assets deemed to have indefinite useful lives, such as cable franchise rights, cease to be amortized. ASC 350 also requires that goodwill and certain intangible assets be tested at least annually for impairment. If we find that the carrying value of goodwill or cable franchise rights exceeds its fair value, we will reduce the carrying value of the goodwill or intangible asset to the fair value, and will recognize an impairment loss in our results of operations.  

For additional information see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis – Critical Accounting Policies – Valuation and Impairment Testing of Indefinite-lived Intangibles” and Note 2 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Risks Related to Legislative and Regulatory Matters

Changes in government regulation could adversely impact our business.

The cable industry is subject to extensive legislation and regulation at the federal and local levels and, in some instances, at the state level. Additionally, our HSD and phone services are also subject to regulation, and additional regulation is under consideration. Many aspects of such regulation are currently the subject of judicial and administrative proceedings, legislative and administrative proposals, and lobbying efforts by us and our competitors. Legislation under consideration could entirely rewrite our principal regulatory statute, and the FCC and/or Congress may attempt to change the classification of or change the way that our video and/or HSD services are regulated and/or change the framework under which broadcast signals are carried, remove the copyright compulsory license and changing rights and obligations of our competitors. We expect that court actions and regulatory proceedings will continue to refine our rights and obligations under applicable federal, state and local laws. The results of current or future judicial and administrative proceedings and legislative activities cannot be predicted. Modifications to existing requirements or imposition of new requirements or limitations could have an adverse impact on our business including those described below. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation.”

Recent FCC action and possible court proceedings and legislation could adversely affect our HSD service.

The recent reclassification of the regulatory status of HSD service to a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act may significantly impact how we provide and charge for our HSD service and operate our network by imposing significant regulations on us and introducing regulatory uncertainty due to lack of clarity of new regulations. The FCC could choose to impose this regulation in a way that adversely affects our business by imposing new regulatory burdens and limiting our business and customer relationships. The regulatory scheme introduced in the FCC’s Open Internet Order relies heavily on forbearance of many types of Title II regulations, however, the FCC could at any time in the future choose to forgo forbearance and impose significant new regulations of our HSD service. As only one example, the FCC has decided to forebear from applying its extensive authority to regulate prices under Title II, and if it decided to end that forbearance, our results of operations could suffer. Even if the FCC continues to forebear from applying certain provisions of Title II, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted by the provisions that it does intend to apply. In addition, the uncertainty created by the fact that the impact of the new rules cannot yet be determined and the fact that the FCC could end forbearance in the future may impede our ability to obtain financing for our business or increase the cost of that financing. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — General — Recent Significant FCC ActivityHSD Regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality, “Business — Legislation and Regulation —General — Privacy and Data Security,” “Business — Legislation and Regulation — GeneralPole Attachment Regulation,” “Business — Legislation and Regulation — GeneralUniversal Service Fund” and “Business — Legislation and Regulation — HSD ServiceState and Local Regulation and Competition.

Federal preemption of state laws restricting municipal-based broadband systems may adversely impact our business.

If the FCC continues to preempt specific state laws that restrict the ability of municipal-based broadband systems to build, expand and operate broadband systems that may offer video, HSD and/or phone services, that may result in the entry or expansion of more municipal-based systems that often have the benefit of taxpayer and/or municipal utility ratepayer subsidies, making competition on a level playing field impossible. Increased incidents of municipal-based broadband systems in our service areas may cause a loss of customers and adversely affect our business, our finances and the results of operations. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — GeneralRecent Significant FCC ActivityPreemption of State Restrictions of Municipal-Based Broadband Systems.”

27


Government financing of broadband providers in our service areas could adversely impact our business.

Possible changes to how USF monies are distributed may provide funding and subsidies to those who either compete with us or seek to compete with us and therefore put us at a competitive disadvantage. Moreover, if the FCC chooses to impose USF fees on broadband services, bundled services or VoIP services that could increase the cost of our services and harm our ability to compete. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — GeneralUniversal Service Fund” and “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Voice-over-Internet-Protocol Phone ServiceFederal Regulatory Obligations.”

Conditions imposed by government regulators on industry mergers may help our competitors more than us.

On May 26, 2015, Charter Communications announced an agreement to merge with Time Warner Cable, Inc. and Bright House Networks, creating a cable company with about 25 million customer relationships. These transactions require the approval of the FCC. As part of any approval of Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Inc., the FCC or the Department of Justice may impose conditions restricting the actions of any of the involved parties, or could require measures that would make available or lower the cost of various inputs, such as equipment and programming, to our competitors. Additionally such conditions could favor the development of OTT video providers that provide video programming and other services over the Internet without owning last-mile distribution facilities. For example, such conditions could vastly expand the quantity of mainstream programming available to OTT video providers, which have greater appeal to our current or prospective video customers. We cannot predict whether such conditions will be imposed or any impact such provisions may have on our business, but the lowering of costs to our competitors and the increased availability of online delivery of content could adversely affect our business. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Content RegulationsAccess to Certain Programming.”

Changes in the definition of an MVPD may make programming available to Internet providers of video services.

If the FCC changes the definition of an MVPD to include those distributors of multiple channels of video programming over the Internet that do not own physical distribution facilities, competitors and potential competitors may have access to certain traditional cable programming under the FCC’s program access rules. If Internet-based providers have greater access to programming of value to our customers and can offer service at a lower price because they are not facilities-based, that could hurt our business, financial condition and results of operations. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Cable System Operations and Video ServicesAccess to Certain Programming.”

Opening our services to third-party navigation devices or apps, requiring downloadable security and limiting how much we charge for leased navigation devices may adversely impact our provision of services, raise our costs and decrease our revenues.

If the FCC changes its regulations to require that we reengineer our systems to permit subscribers to use third-party devices and/or apps in place of our leased set-tops, that could impair the subscriber experience potentially causing a loss of subscribers, raise our costs, decrease our revenues from leased set-tops, cause early retirement of set-tops, increase liability arising from security vulnerabilities created by either the mandatory structure to allow third-party navigation devices or by the devices or apps themselves and it could devalue viewing information by either limiting our access to it or by allowing third-parties to capture and use such data for their own gain. If rules are adopted requiring the usage of downloadable security configurations from a third-party trust authority, the risk of security breaches to our system may increase and the protection of the content that we provide as part of our cable service may be compromised, which in turn could increase our exposure to legal actions by affected third parties, such as the content owners. Any rules that would limit how much we charge for leased navigation devices could adversely impact our revenue stream or our ability to price such devices competitively. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Cable System Operations and Video ServicesCable Equipment.”

Denials of franchise renewals or continued absence of franchise parity can adversely impact our business.

Where state-issued franchises are not available, local franchising authorities may demand concessions, or other commitments, as a condition to renewal, and these concessions or other commitments could be costly. Although the Cable Act affords certain protections, there is no assurance that we will not be compelled to meet such demands in order to obtain renewals.

Our cable systems are operated under non-exclusive franchises. We believe that, as of December 31, 2015, various entities are currently offering video service, through wireline distribution networks, to about 40% of our estimated homes passed. Because of the FCC’s actions to speed issuance of local competitive franchises and because many states in which we operate cable systems have adopted, and other states may adopt, legislation to allow others, including local telephone companies, to deliver services in competition with our cable service without obtaining equivalent local franchises, we may face not only increasing competition but we may be at a competitive disadvantage due to lack of regulatory parity. Any of these factors could adversely affect our business. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Cable System Operations and Video Services State and Local RegulationFranchise Matters.”

28


Our phone service may become subject to additional regulation.

The regulatory treatment of phone services that we and other providers offer remains uncertain. The FCC, Congress, the courts and the states continue to look at issues surrounding the provision of VoIP, including whether this service is properly classified as either a telecommunications service or an information service. Any changes to existing law as it applies to VoIP or any determination that results in greater or different regulatory obligations than competing services would result in increased costs, lower revenues or an impeded ability to effectively compete or otherwise adversely affect our ability to successfully conduct our phone business. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Voice-over-Internet-Protocol Phone ServiceFederal Law.”

Changes in pole attachment regulations or actions by pole owners could significantly increase our pole attachment costs.

Our cable facilities are often attached to, or use, public utility poles, ducts or conduits. Although changes in 2011 to the FCC’s long-standing pole attachment rate formulas and attachment requirements may be beneficial to us, the effective and significant lowering of the rate attachment costs to our telecommunications competitors through the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order coupled with increasing their ease of attachment may significantly benefit those that provide services that compete with ours. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could suffer a material adverse impact from changes that make it both easier and less costly for those who compete with us to attach to poles. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — GeneralPole Attachment Regulation.”

Changes in compulsory copyright regulations could significantly increase our license fees.

If Congress either eliminates the current cable compulsory license or enacts the proposed revisions to the Copyright Act, the elimination could impose increased costs and transactional burdens or the revisions could impose oversight and conditions that could adversely affect our business. Additionally, the Copyright Office’s implementation of any such legislative changes could impose requirements on us or permit overly intrusive access to financial and operational records. Any future decision by Congress to eliminate the cable compulsory license, which would require us to obtain copyright licensing of all broadcast material at the source, would impose significant administrative burdens and additional costs that could adversely affect our business. See “Business — Legislation and Regulation — Cable System Operations and Video ServicesFederal RegulationCopyright.”

Risks Related to MCC’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer’s Controlling Position

MCC’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer has the ability to control all major corporate decisions, and a sale of his ownership interest could result in a change of control that would have unpredictable effects.

An entity wholly-owned by Rocco B. Commisso and related parties is the sole shareholder of MCC. Mr. Commisso is MCC’s founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Our debt arrangements provide that a default may result upon certain change of control events, including if Mr. Commisso were to sell a significant stake in us or MCC to a third party. Our debt agreements provide, however, that a change of control will not be deemed to have occurred so long as MCC continues to be our manager and/or Mr. Commisso continues to be MCC’s, or our, Chairman or Chief Executive Officer.

A change in control could result in a default under our debt arrangements, which require us to offer to repurchase our senior notes at 101% of their principal amount, trigger a variety of federal, state and local regulatory consent requirements and potentially limit MCC’s further utilization of net operating losses for income tax purposes. Any of the foregoing results could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.

PROPERTIES

Our principal physical assets consist of fiber-optic networks, including signal receiving, encoding and decoding devices, headend facilities and distribution systems and equipment at, or near, customers’ homes. The signal receiving apparatus typically includes a tower, antenna, ancillary electronic equipment and earth stations for reception of satellite signals. Headend facilities are located near the receiving devices. Our distribution system consists primarily of coaxial and fiber-optic cables and related electronic equipment. Customer premise equipment consists of set-top devices, cable modems and related equipment. Our distribution systems and related equipment generally are attached to utility poles under pole rental agreements with local public utilities, although in some areas the distribution cable is buried in underground ducts or trenches. The physical components of the cable systems require maintenance and periodic upgrading to improve performance and capacity. In addition, we maintain a network operations center with equipment necessary to monitor and manage the status of our network.

29


We own and lease the real property housing our regional call centers, business offices and warehouses throughout our operating regions. Our headend facilities, signal reception sites and microwave facilities are located on owned and leased parcels of land, and we generally own the towers on which certain of our equipment is located. We own most of our service vehicles. We believe that our properties, both owned and leased, are in good condition and are suitable and adequate for our operations.

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We are involved in various legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business. In the opinion of management, the ultimate disposition of these matters will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations, cash flows or business.

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

 

 

30


PART II

ITEM 5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANTS’ COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

There is no public trading market for our equity, all of which is held by MCC.

ITEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

In the table below, we provide selected historical consolidated statement of operations data, cash flow data and other data for the years ended December 31, 2011 through 2015 and balance sheet data and operating data as of December 31, 2011 through 2015, which are derived from our consolidated financial statements (except other data and operating data). Dollars are in thousands, except operating data.

See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

2011

 

Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

738,710

 

 

$

711,634

 

 

$

698,861

 

 

$

681,683

 

 

$

675,556

 

Costs and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service costs

 

 

327,112

 

 

 

310,752

 

 

 

301,261

 

 

 

295,067

 

 

 

293,940

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

119,716

 

 

 

121,772

 

 

 

119,294

 

 

 

114,992

 

 

 

114,300

 

Management fee expense

 

 

13,000

 

 

 

12,350

 

 

 

12,400

 

 

 

11,885

 

 

 

11,896

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

119,865

 

 

 

116,395

 

 

 

115,341

 

 

 

115,324

 

 

 

117,352

 

Operating income

 

 

159,017

 

 

 

150,365

 

 

 

150,565

 

 

 

144,415

 

 

 

138,068

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

(62,801

)

 

 

(86,815

)

 

 

(94,443

)

 

 

(95,868

)

 

 

(97,681

)

Gain (loss) on derivatives, net

 

 

10,360

 

 

 

18,229

 

 

 

18,026

 

 

 

5,083

 

 

 

(15,178

)

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

 

(689

)

 

 

(23,046

)

 

 

 

 

 

(6,468

)

 

 

 

Gain on sale of cable systems, net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,920

 

 

 

 

Investment income from affiliate(1)

 

 

18,000

 

 

 

18,000

 

 

 

18,000

 

 

 

18,000

 

 

 

18,000

 

Other expense, net

 

 

(878

)

 

 

(1,514

)

 

 

(1,702

)

 

 

(1,591

)

 

 

(1,913

)

Net income

 

$

123,009

 

 

$

75,219

 

 

$

90,446

 

 

$

68,491

 

 

$

41,296

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Sheets Data (end of period):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

1,561,336

 

 

$

1,539,358

 

 

$

1,545,938

 

 

$

1,535,423

 

 

$

1,545,160

 

Total debt

 

$

1,170,250

 

 

$

1,255,000

 

 

$

1,452,000

 

 

$

1,522,000

 

 

$

1,583,000

 

Total member's equity (deficit)

 

$

232,716

 

 

$

122,215

 

 

$

(105,293

)

 

$

(192,198

)

 

$

(249,571

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash Flows Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash flows provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

$

228,340

 

 

$

173,315

 

 

$

196,275

 

 

$

172,874

 

 

$

160,802

 

Investing activities

 

$

(131,093

)

 

$

(120,396

)

 

$

(121,785

)

 

$

(98,864

)

 

$

(93,835

)

Financing activities

 

$

(97,521

)

 

$

(53,943

)

 

$

(74,140

)

 

$

(77,054

)

 

$

(76,543

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OIBDA(2)

 

$

278,882

 

 

$

266,760

 

 

$

265,906

 

 

$

259,739

 

 

$

255,420

 

OIBDA margin(3)

 

 

37.8

%

 

 

37.5

%

 

 

38.0

%

 

 

38.1

%

 

 

37.8

%

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges

 

 

2.75

 

 

 

1.79

 

 

 

1.88

 

 

 

1.66

 

 

 

1.40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Data (end of period):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estimated homes passed(4)

 

 

1,325,000

 

 

 

1,311,000

 

 

 

1,301,000

 

 

 

1,301,000

 

 

 

1,295,000

 

Video customers(5)

 

 

375,000

 

 

 

390,000

 

 

 

417,000

 

 

 

442,000

 

 

 

473,000

 

HSD customers(6)

 

 

480,000

 

 

 

449,000

 

 

 

431,000

 

 

 

410,000

 

 

 

383,000

 

Phone customers(7)

 

 

194,000

 

 

 

182,000

 

 

 

179,000

 

 

 

166,000

 

 

 

159,000

 

Primary service units(8)

 

 

1,049,000

 

 

 

1,021,000

 

 

 

1,027,000

 

 

 

1,018,000

 

 

 

1,015,000

 

Customer relationships(9)

 

 

585,000

 

 

 

569,000

 

 

 

575,000

 

 

 

571,000

 

 

 

569,000

 

 

31


(1)

Investment income from affiliate represents the investment income on our $150.0 million preferred equity investment in Mediacom Broadband. See Note 7 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

(2)

“OIBDA” is not a financial measure calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) in the United States. We define OIBDA as operating income before depreciation and amortization. OIBDA has inherent limitations as discussed below.

OIBDA is one of the primary measures used by management to evaluate our performance and to forecast future results. We believe OIBDA is useful for investors because it enables them to assess our performance in a manner similar to the methods used by management, and provides a measure that can be used to analyze value and compare the companies in the cable industry. A limitation of OIBDA, however, is that it excludes depreciation and amortization, which represents the periodic costs of certain capitalized tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues in our business. Management uses a separate process to budget, measure and evaluate capital expenditures. In addition, OIBDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies, which may have different depreciation and amortization policies.

OIBDA should not be regarded as an alternative to operating income or net income as an indicator of operating performance, or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity, nor should it be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. We believe that operating income is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to OIBDA.

The following represents a reconciliation of OIBDA to operating income, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure (dollars in thousands):  

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

2011

 

OIBDA

 

$

278,882

 

 

$

266,760

 

 

$

265,906

 

 

$

259,739

 

 

$

255,420

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

(119,865

)

 

 

(116,395

)

 

 

(115,341

)

 

 

(115,324

)

 

 

(117,352

)

Operating income

 

$

159,017

 

 

$

150,365

 

 

$

150,565

 

 

$

144,415

 

 

$

138,068

 

 

(3)

Represents OIBDA as a percentage of revenues. See Note 2 above.

(4)

Represents the estimated number of single residence homes, apartments and condominium units that we can connect to our distribution system without further extending the transmission lines.

(5)

Represents customers receiving video service. Accounts that are billed on a bulk basis are converted into full-price equivalent video customers by dividing their associated revenues by the applicable residential rate. This conversion method is generally consistent with the methodology used in determining payments to programmers. Video customers include connections to schools, libraries, local government offices and employee households that may not be charged for basic or expanded video service, but may be charged for higher tier video, HSD, phone or other services. Our methodology of calculating the number of video customers may not be identical to those used by other companies offering similar services.

(6)

Represents customers receiving HSD service. Small- to medium-sized business customers are converted to equivalent residential HSD customers by dividing their associated revenues by the applicable residential rate. Medium- to large-sized business customers who take our enterprise network services are not counted as HSD customers. Our methodology of calculating HSD customers may not be identical to those used by other companies offering similar services.

(7)

Represents customers receiving phone service. Small- to medium-sized business customers are converted to equivalent residential phone customers by dividing their associated revenues by the applicable residential rate. Customers who take our IP-enabled voice trunk service are not counted as phone customers. Our methodology of calculating phone customers may not be identical to those used by other companies offering similar services.

(8)

Represents the sum of video, HSD and phone customers.

(9)

Represents the total number of residential and business customers that receive at least one service, without regard to which service(s) customers purchase.  

 

 

32


ITEM 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Reference is made to the “Risk Factors” in Item 1A for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations and any of our forward-looking statements contained herein. The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements as of, and for the years ended, December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Overview

We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mediacom Communications Corporation (“MCC”), the nation’s eighth largest cable company based on the number of customers who purchase one or more video services, also known as video customers. As of December 31, 2015, we served approximately 375,000 video customers, 480,000 high-speed data (“HSD”) customers and 194,000 phone customers, aggregating 1.05 million primary service units (“PSUs”).  As of the same date, we served 585,000 residential and business customer relationships.

We offer video, HSD and phone services to residential and small- to medium-sized business (“SMB”) customers over our hybrid fiber and coaxial cable network. We believe our customers prefer the cost savings of the bundled services we offer, as well as the convenience of having a single provider contact for ordering, provisioning, billing and customer care. We also provide network and transport services to medium- and large sized businesses, governments, and educational institutions in our service areas, including cell tower backhaul for wireless telephone providers, and sell advertising time to local, regional and national advertisers.

Over the past several years, losses in our residential video customer base have been primarily responsible for slower growth in our residential revenues, while we have rapidly increased our business services revenues through customer gains. We expect to continue to grow revenues through customer additions in business services and, to a lesser extent, in residential services. Business services revenues are expected to grow through HSD and phone sales to SMBs and a greater number of cell tower backhaul sites and large enterprise customers. Revenues from residential services are expected to grow as a result of HSD and phone customer growth, with gains in revenue per PSU, as more customers take higher HSD tiers and advanced video services.

Our recent performance has been adversely affected by tepid economic growth in the post-recession period and significant video competition. We believe the historically slower economic recovery from the recession, including the uneven gains in household income, occupied housing, and new housing starts, has largely contributed to lower sales and connect activity for all of our residential services and negatively impacted our residential customer and revenue growth. While we expect improvement if and when the economy strengthens further, a continuation or broadening of such effects may adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

Our residential video service principally competes with direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) providers, who offer video programming substantially similar to ours. Over the past several years, we have experienced meaningful video customer losses, as DBS competitors have deployed aggressive marketing campaigns, including deeply discounted promotional packages, more advanced customer premise equipment and exclusive sports programming. We also have placed a greater emphasis on higher quality customer relationships in our residential services, as we have generally eliminated or reduced tactical discounts for customers not likely to purchase two or more services or to stay with us for an extended period, which may further contribute to video customer declines. Our next-generation, multi-room set-top gives customers the same stored content on multiple televisions in their home and a cloud-based, graphically-rich TiVo guide, with Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and other popular apps, advanced search functionality, in-home video streaming to personal devices and the ability to download certain content to their mobile devices for viewing outside of their home. We believe our video strategy may enable us to reduce video customer losses and regain market share of new connects. If we are unsuccessful with this strategy and cannot offset video customer losses through higher average unit pricing and greater penetration of our advanced video services, we may experience future annual declines in video revenues.

Our residential HSD service competes primarily with digital subscriber line (“DSL”) services offered by local telephone companies. Based upon the speeds we offer, we believe our HSD service is generally superior to DSL offerings in our service areas. As consumers’ bandwidth requirements have dramatically increased in the past few years, a trend many industry experts expect to continue, we believe our ability to offer a HSD service today with downstream speeds of up to 150Mbps gives us a competitive advantage compared to the DSL service offered by the local telephone companies. We expect to continue to grow HSD revenues through residential customer growth and more customers taking higher HSD speed tiers.

Our residential phone service mainly competes with substantially comparable phone services offered by local telephone companies and cellular phone services offered by national wireless providers. We believe we will grow phone revenues through residential phone customer growth, which may be mostly offset by unit pricing pressure.

33


Our business services largely compete with local phone companies, or local exchange carriers (“LECs”). Our fast-growing cell tower backhaul business primarily competes with LECs. Developments and advancements in products and services by new, emerging companies may intensify competition. We have experienced strong growth rates of business services revenues in the past several years, which we believe will continue.

We face significant competition in our advertising business from a wide range of national, regional and local competitors. Competition will likely elevate as new formats for advertising are introduced into our markets. We compete for advertising revenues principally against local broadcast stations, national cable and broadcast networks, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor display and Internet companies. Due to the strong contributions of political advertising during a national election year, we expect to experience an increase in advertising revenues in 2016.

Historically, video programming has been our single largest expense, and we have experienced substantial increases in video programming costs per video customer, particularly for sports and local broadcast programming, well in excess of the inflation rate or the change in the consumer price index. We believe these expenses will continue to grow at a high single- to low double-digit rate because of the demands of large media conglomerates or other owners of most of the popular cable networks and major market local broadcast stations, and of large independent television broadcast groups, who own or control a significant number of local broadcast stations across the country and, in some cases, own, control or otherwise represent multiple stations in the same market. Moreover, many of those powerful owners of programming require us to purchase their networks and stations in bundles and effectively dictate how we offer them to our customers, given the contractual economic penalties if we fail to comply. Consequently, we have little or no ability to individually or selectively negotiate for networks or stations, to forego purchasing networks or stations that generate low customer interest, to offer sports programming services, such as ESPN and regional sports networks, on one or more separate tiers, or to offer networks or stations on an a la carte basis to give our customers more choice and potentially lower their costs. In many instances, such programmers have created additional networks and migrated popular programming, particularly sports programming, to these new networks, which has contributed to the increases in our programming costs. Additionally, we believe certain programmers may also demand higher fees from us in an effort to partially offset declines in their advertising revenue as more advertisers allocate a greater portion of their spending to Internet advertising. While such growth in programming expenses can be offset, in whole or in part, by rate increases, we expect our video gross margins will continue to decline if increases in programming costs outpace any growth in video revenues.

2015 Financing Activity

On August 12, 2015 and November 23, 2015, we entered into incremental facility agreements that provided for $25.0 million and $112.5 million of additional revolving credit commitments, respectively.

On December 17, 2015, we completed a new term loan (“Term Loan A”) in the aggregate principal amount of $153.5 million, and used the net proceeds to substantially fund a $153.5 million partial repayment of Term Loan E.

See “Liquidity and Capital Resources — Capital Structure — 2015 Financing Activity” and Note 6 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Revenues

Video

Video revenues primarily represent monthly subscription fees charged to residential customers, which vary according to the level of service and equipment taken, and revenue from the sale of VOD content and pay-per-view events. Video revenues also include installation, reconnection and wire maintenance fees, franchise and late payment fees, and other ancillary revenues.

HSD

HSD revenues primarily represent monthly subscription fees charged to residential customers, which vary according to the level of service and equipment taken.

Phone

Phone revenues primarily represent monthly subscription fees and equipment charged to residential customers for our phone service.

34


Business Services

Business services revenues primarily represent monthly fees charged to SMBs for video, HSD and phone services, which vary according to the level of service taken, and fees charged to large businesses, including revenues from cell tower backhaul and enterprise class services.

Advertising

Advertising revenues primarily represent revenues received from selling advertising time we receive under programming license agreements to local, regional and national advertisers for the placement of commercials on channels offered on our video services.

Costs and Expenses

Service Costs

Service costs consist of the costs related to providing and maintaining services to our customers. Significant service costs comprise: video programming; HSD service, including bandwidth connectivity; phone service, including leased circuits and long distance; our enterprise networks business, including leased access; technical personnel who maintain the cable network, perform customer installation activities and provide customer support; network operations center; utilities, including pole rental; and field operations, including outside contractors, vehicle fuel and maintenance and leased fiber for regional connectivity.

Programming costs, which are generally paid on a per video customer basis, have historically represented our single largest expense. In recent years, we have experienced substantial increases in the per-unit cost of programming, which we believe will continue to grow due to the increasing contractual rates and retransmission consent fees demanded by large programmers and independent broadcasters. Our HSD costs fluctuate depending on customers’ bandwidth consumption and customer growth. Phone service costs are mainly determined by network configuration, customers’ long distance usage and net termination payments to other carriers. Our other service costs generally rise as a result of customer growth and inflationary cost increases for personnel, outside vendors and other expenses. Personnel and related support costs may increase as the percentage of expenses that we capitalize declines due to lower levels of new service installations. We anticipate that service costs, with the exception of programming expenses, will remain fairly consistent as a percentage of our revenues.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

Significant selling, general and administrative expenses comprise: call center, customer service, marketing, business services, support and administrative personnel; franchise fees and other taxes; bad debt; billing; marketing; advertising; and general office administration. These expenses generally rise due to customer growth and inflationary cost increases for personnel, outside vendors and other expenses. We anticipate that selling, general and administrative expenses will remain fairly consistent as a percentage of our revenues.

Service costs and selling, general and administrative expenses exclude depreciation and amortization, which we present separately.

Management Fee Expense

Management fee expense reflects compensation paid to MCC for the performance of services it provides our operating subsidiaries in accordance with management agreements between MCC and our operating subsidiaries.

See Note 9 in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

“OIBDA” is not a financial measure calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) in the United States. We define OIBDA as operating income before depreciation and amortization. OIBDA has inherent limitations as discussed below.

OIBDA is one of the primary measures used by management to evaluate our performance and to forecast future results. We believe OIBDA is useful for investors because it enables them to assess our performance in a manner similar to the methods used by management, and provides a measure that can be used to analyze value and compare the companies in the cable industry. A limitation of OIBDA, however, is that it excludes depreciation and amortization, which represents the periodic costs of certain capitalized tangible and intangible assets used in generating revenues in our business. Management uses a separate process to budget, measure

35


and evaluate capital expenditures. In addition, OIBDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies, which may have different depreciation and amortization policies.

OIBDA should not be regarded as an alternative to operating income or net income as an indicator of operating performance, or to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity, nor should it be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. We believe that operating income is the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to OIBDA.

Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2014

The table below sets forth our consolidated statements of operations and OIBDA for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 (dollars in thousands and percentage changes that are not meaningful are marked NM):

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

Revenues

 

$

738,710

 

 

$

711,634

 

 

$

27,076

 

 

 

3.8

%

Costs and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service costs (exclusive of depreciation and

   amortization)

 

 

327,112

 

 

 

310,752

 

 

 

16,360

 

 

 

5.3

%

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

119,716

 

 

 

121,772

 

 

 

(2,056

)

 

 

(1.7

%)

Management fee expense

 

 

13,000

 

 

 

12,350

 

 

 

650

 

 

 

5.3

%

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

119,865

 

 

 

116,395

 

 

 

3,470

 

 

 

3.0

%

Operating income

 

 

159,017

 

 

 

150,365

 

 

 

8,652

 

 

 

5.8

%

Interest expense, net

 

 

(62,801

)

 

 

(86,815

)

 

 

24,014

 

 

 

(27.7

%)

Gain on derivatives, net

 

 

10,360

 

 

 

18,229

 

 

 

(7,869

)

 

 

NM

 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

 

(689

)

 

 

(23,046

)

 

 

22,357

 

 

 

NM

 

Investment income from affiliate

 

 

18,000

 

 

 

18,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

NM

 

Other expense, net

 

 

(878

)

 

 

(1,514

)

 

 

636

 

 

 

(42.0

%)

Net income

 

$

123,009

 

 

$

75,219

 

 

$

47,790

 

 

 

63.5

%

OIBDA

 

$

278,882

 

 

$

266,760

 

 

$

12,122

 

 

 

4.5

%

 

The table below represents a reconciliation of OIBDA to operating income, which we believe is the most directly comparable GAAP measure (dollars in thousands):

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

OIBDA

 

$

278,882

 

 

$

266,760

 

 

$

12,122

 

 

 

4.5

%

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

(119,865

)

 

 

(116,395

)

 

 

(3,470

)

 

 

3.0

%

Operating income

 

$

159,017

 

 

$

150,365

 

 

$

8,652

 

 

 

5.8

%

 

Revenues

The tables below set forth revenue and selected customer and average monthly revenue statistics as of, and for the years ended, December 31, 2015 and 2014 (dollars in thousands, except per unit data):

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

$ Change

 

 

% Change

 

Video

 

$

348,370

 

 

$

346,938

 

 

$

1,432