Shaw Communications posts higher Q3 earnings

Higher rates charged for cable and satellite TV services helped the western Canadian cable giant fend off stiff competition from rival Telus Corp.

Higher charges for cable and satellite TV series helped Shaw Communications on Thursday post higher third quarter earnings, even as overall revenue was little changed.

Calgary-based Shaw Communications saw earnings for the three months to May 31 climb 22% to $248 million, compared to $203 million in the same period of 2011, on revenue down slightly to $1.27 billion, against a year-earlier $1.28 billion.

The profit rise was helped by rate increases in both the cable and satellite TV divisions, which offset a fall in its number of basic cable subscribers as it faces increasingly stiff competition in western Canada from phone giant Telus Corp.

Shaw Communications lost 21,515 basic cable subscribers during the latest quarter, even as it added 246 digital cable customers, and its digital phone business added 29,142 subscribers during the third quarter to get to 1.34 million customers in all.