July 26, 2018
Comcast Cable July 26 reported it shed 136,000 video subscribers in the second quarter (ended June 30), up more than 200% from video sub loss of 45,000 during the previous-year period. The company lost 93,000 video subs in the first quarter.
Comcast ended the period with 22.1 million subs, compared to 22.5 million last year.
Video revenue decreased 1.9% to $5.6 billion from $5.7 billion, primarily reflecting a decrease in the number of residential video customers. Through the first-half of the year, cable revenue is down 1.4% to $11.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year.
Meanwhile, reflecting increases in cord-cutting and consumers shifting to over-the-top video entertainment consumption, Comcast broadband subscribers increased 61% to 226,000 from 140,000 last year to end the quarter with 24.4 million subs.
When factoring in 34,000 new broadband business subscriptions, Comcast saw its largest quarterly high-speed Internet sub growth in 10 years.
“These strong customer metrics were balanced with robust [pre-tax earnings] growth, fueled by high-speed Internet and business services,” Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast Corp., said in a statement.
Separately, Comcast said it spent $23 million in the quarter on costs related to the aborted acquisition of 20thCentury Fox Film and ongoing purchase attempt of British satellite TV operator Sky.
Roberts on the July 26 fiscal call, said the cabler dropped its pursuit of Fox assets largely because of escalating costs.
“We thought we couldn’t build enough shareholder value by making the price that it seemed, in our judgement, to be able to buy it at, which was increasing,” said Roberts.
The executive said the company remains on track to acquire Sky, which he characterized as a “unique” fit and a good use of corporate capital.
“It will fit well,” Roberts said.