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October 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, laid out an array of reasons Wednesday for a third-quarter, 8.2-percent plunge in earnings. First of all there were all of the legal and administrative costs associated with its efforts to merge with NBC Universal. Then there was a drop in fees paid by subscribers for pay-TV programming as they discovered that they could rent much of the same content from Netflix or Apple’s iTunes store for less. Then there was the loss of 275,000 customers who canceled their subscriptions. While some analysts suggested that many of them had discovered that they could access sufficient content online, Comcast said that the main reason for the exodus was the state of the economy — that most of those canceling the service did so because they had lost their jobs or had seen a significant drop in their income. Comcast also noted that many of those departing customers were low-income families who took advantage of special one-year promotions in 2009, when TV broadcasters switched to digital transmission, and who were not prepared to pay Comcast’s normal charges.