Comcast Cable Loses 521,000 Q2 Video Subs; 1 Million Through Six Months

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV operator, continues to hemorrhage video subscribers. The Philadelphia-based operator July 28 announced it lost 521,000 video subs in the second quarter, ended June 30. That was up 30% from a loss of 399,000 video subs in the previous-year quarter.

Through six months of the fiscal year, Comcast has lost more than 1 million video subs as consumers drop pay-TV in favor of alternative video entertainment options such as subscription and ad-supported video-on-demand. The company lost 889,000 video subs in the prior-year period.

CEO Brian Roberts

Comcast ended the quarter with more than 17.1 million video subs, down about 10% from more than 18.9 million subs last year.

Saving the day again — sort of — was high-speed internet. Comcast added 262,000 board band subs through six months of the fiscal year, which was down 68% from last year. Comcast added no broadband subs in the second quarter compared with the net addition of 354,000 high-speed internet subs last year.

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While subscribers decline, Comcast Communications revenue is going the opposite direction — thanks to rate increases. Revenue in Q2 increased 3.7% to $16.6 billion, driven by increases in broadband, business services, wireless, and advertising revenue, partially offset by decreases in video, voice, and other revenue. Broadband revenue increased 6.8% due to an increase in average rates and an increase in the number of residential broadband customers compared to the prior year period. Business services revenue increased 10.1% due to an increase in average rates, an increase in the number of customers receiving our services, and from a recent acquisition.

Despite the negative trends in Comcast’s legacy business, CEO Brian Roberts attempted to put a positive spin on the numbers.

“We achieved our highest adjusted [pre-tax] margin on record even amid a unique and evolving macroeconomic environment that is temporarily putting pressure on the volume of our new customer connects,” Roberts said in a statement.

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