Verizon Loses 82,000 Fios TV Subs in Q1, Adds 98K Internet Subs

Verizon Communications April 21 disclosed it lost 82,000 Fios TV pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31). The loss was a slight improvement from 84,000 subs lost in the previous-year period. The telecom ended the period with 3.7 million Fios TV subs — down 296,000 subs from more than 4 million last year.

Meanwhile, Verizon, like most ISPs, added high-speed Internet subs, including 98,000 in the quarter. That compared with a gain of 59,000 subs in the previous-year period. Total Fios Internet net additions in first-quarter 2021 were 102,000, the most Q1 total Fios Internet net additions since 2015. The company ended the fiscal period with 6.3 million — up 339,000 subs from last year.

Verizon is a promotional partner for Disney+, affording wireless subs free 12-month access to the streaming service.

“The strength in our core business is driving higher revenues and strong demand for our products and services,” CFO Matt Ellis said in a statement. “We delivered strong operational and financial performance, giving us positive momentum as we end the first quarter. High-quality, sustainable wireless service revenue growth, a recovery in wireless equipment revenues, strong Fios momentum and excellent Verizon Media trends led the way.”

 

Verizon Lost 298,000 Fios Video Subs in 2020

It may be a 5G future for Verizon, but the reality for the telecom’s Fios Video pay-TV service is ongoing subscriber losses. The company Jan. 26 reported 72,000 Fios Video net losses in the fourth-quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2020, reflecting the ongoing consumer shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. Verizon lost 298,000 Fios Video subs in 2020 to finish the year with 3.85 million.

That compared with video losses of 51,000 and 225,000 in the previous Q4 quarter and fiscal year in 2019, respectively.

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Like other pay-TV operators, Verizon’s silver lining in the pay-TV subscriber exodus is ongoing growth in Fios high-speed Internet. While consumers covet Netflix & Co., they still need to pay a third party to get the services into their homes. Verizon added 92,000 broadband subs in Q4, 300,000 subs in 2020.

That compared with gains of 35,000 and 131,000 high-speed Internet subs, respectively, in 2019. Verizon ended 2020 with more than 6.2 million broadband subs.

“2020 was marked by transformational change, including the launch of our 5G nationwide network,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

Verizon once again is the exclusive mobile video streamer of upcoming Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay, Fla. The telecom also renewed its distribution agreement with Disney, affording wireless subs free 12-month access to Disney+ SVOD service.

“We are excited to lead technological advances beyond mobile devices, and create new opportunities for growth across multiple industries,” Vestberg said.

 

Verizon Lost 222,000 Fios TV Subs in 2019

Verizon Communications Jan. 30 disclosed it lost 222,000 Fios TV subscribers in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2019. The telecom lost 51,000 subs in the fourth quarter to end the year with more than 4.2 million pay-TV subs, compared with more than 4.4 million subs at the end of 2018.

Following a trend among linear TV operators also providing high-speed Internet, Verizon reported 35,000 Fios Internet net additions in the quarter, reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings.

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Verizon ended 2019 with more than 6.2 million broadband subscribers, an increase of 161,000 subs from the end of 2018.

Fios revenue remained relatively flat, primarily due to the demand for broadband offerings, offset by the impact of video subscriber losses.

Meanwhile, the telecom continues to push its legacy mobile phone business and next-generation 5G network functionality, including the launch and build-out of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.

The company reported 852,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions in the quarter, which included 588,000 phone net additions, up 12.6% year over year, and 305,000 related connected device net additions, primarily wearables, partially offset by tablet net losses of 41,000. Postpaid smartphone net additions were 723,000.

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“Our 5G footprint continues to grow as we lead this era of transformational change by building these next-generation networks the right way,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

 

Verizon Revamps Pay-TV, Internet Options

Verizon, which has a declining Fios TV subscriber base and scant over-the-top video options (except for free Disney+), Jan. 9 announced it is reorganizing Fios options to consumers for television and high-speed Internet.

The telecom’s customers can now mix Internet and TV plans to match their needs, with Fios Internet plans starting at just $39.99 per month. “Mix & Match” also eliminates annual contracts.

“Customers are tired of having to buy a bundle with services they don’t want to get the best rates, and then discover that those rates didn’t include extra fees and surcharges,” Frank Boulben, SVP of consumer marketing and products, said in a statement. “We’re putting an end to the traditional bundle contract and putting customers in control.”

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Indeed, Verizon is offering three broadband options: 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps and Gigabit Connection. For new subscribers who choose Gigabit, the telecom is including a free Fios Home Router featuring WiFi 6 technology, a $100 Visa Prepaid Card and a year of Disney+.

Consumers also get a free month of YouTube TV or the option to choose five Fios TV channels from almost 200 available networks, in addition to mainstays ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Telemundo and Univision.

Verizon lost 220,000 Fios TV subs in the third quarter underscoring ongoing secular changes how consumers are watching television in the home — notably the rise of over-the-top video options such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, in addition to online TV platforms such as Sling TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now, among others.

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Verizon, which lost $1 billion in the short-lived go90 mobile video app venture, ended the quarter with 4.2 million Fios TV subs. That compared to more than 4.4 million in the previous-year period.

Verizon Widens Q2 Fios TV Sub Loss 37%

Verizon Aug. 1 disclosed it lost 52,000 Fios TV subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30. That compared with a loss of 38,000 pay-TV subs in the previous-year period.

Through the first six months of the fiscal year, Verizon has shed 107,000 video subs, which is up 75% from a sub loss of 61,000 subs during the previous-year period.

The wireless carrier ended the period with 4.27 million Fios TV subs — down 217,000 subs since last year as consumers migrate to alternative distribution channels, including over-the-top video.

At the same time, Verizon saw high-speed Internet subscription growth declined 22% to 28,000 from growth of 36,000 last year. Through June 30, the carrier has 76,000 broadband subs – down 22% from the addition of 98,000 subs last year.

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Verizon ended the period with 5.83 million Fios Internet connections, which was up 3.1% from 5.66 million connections last year.

Separately, Verizon continues to promote 5G wireless network mobility.

The carrier July 31 rolled out 5G networks in Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. The cities followed similar 5G functionality launches in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Providence, R.I., and St. Paul, Minn.

“Verizon made history this quarter by becoming the first carrier in the world to launch 5G mobility,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement. “We are focused on optimizing our next-generation networks and enhancing the customer experience while we head into the second half of the year with great momentum.”