MARINA DEL REY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 26, 2000--Charter Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR):
Acceleration of $3.5 Billion Rebuild and Upgrade Program Provides Speed to Market with Advanced Digital Video and High-Speed Internet Products
Acknowledging competition in the marketplace by DBS and DSL providers, Jerry Kent, President and CEO of Charter Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:CHTR) today told institutional investors at the Merrill Lynch Media and Entertainment Conference here why his company continues to lead the cable industry in financial performance and customer growth.
"We don't bury our heads in the sand and ignore competition," Mr. Kent said. "We take it head-on with an aggressive approach that includes the rapid deployment of advanced digital video and high-speed Internet access products over the most robust infrastructure in the cable industry."
Mr. Kent said Charter accelerated its $3.5 billion rebuild program by a full year. "By the end of the year 2002, 93 percent of our customers will be served by Charter systems of 750 Megahertz or greater, providing full two-way, interactive capability."
The acceleration of Charter's rebuild program has allowed the company to roll out digital video and high-speed Internet access products to market sooner and contributed to exceeding expected operating results during the first two quarters of the year 2000. "As I indicated in our second quarter earnings release, our growth will accelerate for the balance of this year," Mr. Kent said. "At this point, we fully expect pro forma cash flow to increase by a rate almost double that of most other major cable operators. Consumer acceptance of our new advanced products in numbers that have exceeded our expectations has allowed us to make this pronouncement with confidence."
Mr. Kent was joined during his presentation by Stephen Silva, Charter Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Technology. Mr. Silva said consumer demand for both digital video and high-speed Internet access products has resulted in Charter reassessing sales projections of these products for the year. "Earlier this year, we set a goal of 10,000 new Charter Digital Cable(TM) and 2,500 new Charter Pipeline(TM) customers a week," Mr. Silva said. "But with innovative sales and marketing programs that clearly show the inherent value of our products over the competition, we're adding as many as 24,000 new digital customers in a week. And, we're also adding nearly 3,000 new Charter Pipeline customers weekly."
Mr. Silva said that by year-end 2000, 90 percent of Charter customers will have access to digital video services, "perhaps the most aggressive rollout in the industry."
Mr. Kent ended the presentation by stating that Charter is well positioned to compete effectively in today's marketplace. "Our strategy to be the first to market with innovative products provided by proven technology and backed by world-class customer care is working," he said.
With 6.3 million customers, Charter Communications, a Wired World(TM) company, is among the nation's largest broadband communications companies. Charter offers an array of advanced broadband services, including cable television under the Charter Cable TV brand; advanced digital video programming services under the Charter Digital Cable(TM) brand; and high-speed Internet access via Charter Pipeline(TM). Charter's Class A common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol "CHTR." More information about Charter can be found on the Internet at www.chartercom.com.
Statements in this press release regarding Charter Communications' business that are not historical facts may be "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any such forward-looking statements are identified in the reports and documents Charter files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
|Anita Lamont, 314-543-2215|
|Andy Morgan, 314/543-2217|