Verizon Lost 283,000 Fios Video Subs in 2023

Verizon Communications’ pay-TV market position continued to decline in 2023, with the wireless provider losing 283,000 linear TV subscribers in 2023, including 62,000 subs in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2023.

Verizon ended the year with 2.95 million Fios Video subscribers, down from 3.23 million subs at the end of 2022.

On the flipside, Verizon added 236,000 Fios Internet subs to end the year with 6.97 million subscribers. Verizon added 1 million fixed wireless broadband subs, in addition to 174,000 wireline broadband subs, to end the year with 9 million total broadband subscribers — up from 7.9 million at the end of 2022.

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Verizon: Fios Video Lost 259,000 Subs Through Sept. 30

Verizon Oct. 21 disclosed that its Fios Video television subscription service lost 259,000 subscribers through Sept. 30, widening 22% from a loss of 212,000 subs during the previous year period. In the past three months, Fios Video lost 95,000 subs, widening almost 40% from 68,000 subs lost during the same period a year ago. The platform ended the fiscal period with more than 3.3 million subs, compared with 3.6 million a year earlier.

Offsetting pay-TV subscriber losses continues to be high-speed internet service, or broadband. Verizon said it added 602,000 broadband subs (Fios internet) in the nine-month period, including 272,000 over the past 90 days, to end the fiscal period with 7.6 million subs. That’s up almost 10% from 6.9 million subs a year ago.

Fios ended the period with another 913,000 high-speed internet business subscribers, up 64.5% from 555,000 subs a year ago.

Meanwhile, Verizon’s stock took a hit Oct. 21 after reporting stalled wireless phone sub growth. The carrier added just 8,000 postpaid phone subs in the quarter compared with a gain of 429,000 subs in the previous-year period. Rival AT&T gained 708,000 postpaid phone subs in the same quarter.

“We took a number of actions in the third quarter that helped drive improved operational and financial performance, but we know there’s still more work to be done,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

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Verizon Fios Video Lost 164,000 Subs in the First Half of 2022

Verizon, like most pay-TV operators, continues to see an exodus of subscribers, losing 86,000 Fios Video subs in the second quarter (ended June 30) — up from 62,000 video subs lost in the previous-year period. Through six months of the year, Verizon has lost 164,000 pay-TV subs, up from 144,000 subs in the previous-year period.

Verizon ended the fiscal period with 3.4 million Fios Video subs, down from 3.7 million subs during the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, Verizon added just 30,000 broadband subs, which was down from the addition of 92,000 high-speed internet subs in the previous-year period. The telecom added 85,000 broadband subs in the first six months of the year, down from 190,000 additions a year earlier.

Verizon, which offers free access to Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Discovery+ to select wireless subs, also saw telecom sub additions plummet 76% to 84,000 from 350,000 net adds in the previous period. Through the half-year, Verizon has lost 42,000 telecom subscribers.

“Although recent performance did not meet our expectations, we remain confident in our long-term strategy,” CFO Matt Ellis said in a statement. “We believe that our assets position us well to generate long-term shareholder value.”

Verizon Lost 281,000 Fios Video Subs in 2021

Verizon Jan. 25 reported its lost 69,000 Fios Video pay-TV subscribers in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2021. That was an improvement over the loss of 72,000 Fios Video subs in the previous-year period. For the fiscal year, Verizon jettisoned 281,000 pay-TV subs to end the year with more than 3.5 million — down from more than 3.8 million at the end of 2020.

Pay-TV’s loss continues to be broadband’s gain as the telecom said it added 55,000 Fios Internet net sub additions in the quarter. In full-year 2021, Verizon reported 360,000 Fios Internet net additions, the best annual performance since 2014. It ended the year with more than 6.5 million broadband subs — up 5.5% from 6.2 million at the end of 2020.

Total quarterly Fios revenue reached $3.2 billion, an increase of 5.7% year over year. Full-year 2021 Fios revenue was approximately $12.7 billion, up 4.6% year over year.

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“Verizon delivered another strong earnings performance this quarter,” CFO Matt Ellis said in a statement. He was alluding to the telecom’s strong wireless businesses and rollout of the 5G network. Verizon added 667,000 wireless retail subscribers, which included 336,000 phone net additions and 369,000 other connected device net additions, offset by 38,000 tablet net losses.

The company ended the year with more than 115.3 million wireless subs, up more than 22% from 94.3 million at the end of 2020.

“2021 was a transformational year for Verizon that will serve as a catalyst for us,” said CEO Hans Vestberg.

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 168,000 Fios TV Subs in 2018

Verizon Communications Jan. 29 reported it lost 46,000 Fios TV subscribers in the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2018), reflecting the ongoing secular shift from traditional linear pay-TV to over-the-top video offerings. The telecom lost 29,000 video subs in the previous-year period.

Verizon ended 2018 with 4.45 million Fios Video subscribers, down 3.6% from 4.61 million subs at the end of 2017.

“We expect legacy product revenue to continue to decline in 2019 at rates consistent with last year,” CFO Matt Ellis said on the fiscal call.

Meanwhile, Verizon added 217,000 broadband subscribers – underscoring consumer demand for high-speed Internet service in an era of online TV and OTT video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

The telecom also continues to push 5G, the next-generation faster mobile network technology. The company (along with AT&T) claimed the first commercial and residential rollouts of 5G networks, despite the limited supply of compatible 5G smartphones on the market.

“As we head into 2019 and the 5G era, we’re beginning a period of transformational change,” CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement. “We are laser focused on delivering customers a best-in-class and game-changing experience on our networks.”


Verizon Loses 151K Fios Video Subs, Puts Focus on 5G

Verizon Oct. 23 revealed it lost 151,000 Fios video subscribers in third-quarter (ended Sept. 30), impacted by ongoing consumer shifts away from traditional linear pay-TV offerings. The telecom ended the period with 4.49 million Fios video subs compared to 4.64 million subs in the previous-year period.

Net video sub losses totaled 63,000 compared to 18,000 last year. Year-to-date net losses have reached 122,000 compared to 46,000 during the previous-year period. Broadband connections remained relatively flat at 6.95 million compared to 6.97 million.

More importantly, the wired segment (Fios video and broadband) reported an operating loss of $50 million on revenue of $7.4 billion, compared to operating income of $65 million and revenue of $7.7 billion last year.

To new CEO Hans Vestberg, the video sub/operating income losses apparently don’t warrant mention as the telecom rolls out what it claims is the world’s first 5G wireless commercial network.

“With the beginning of the 5G era in this fourth quarter … we are investing in networks, creating platforms to add value for customers and maintaining a focused, disciplined strategy,” Vestberg said in a statement. “Verizon is best positioned to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the new game-changing generation of technology.”

Indeed, Verizon ended the period with more than 112 million wireless connections (mobile phones, tablets and related devices), up 2.2% from 109.6 million connections last year. The company added 295,000 mobile phone connections.

Separately, Verizon said it does not expect to meet the previous announced target of $10 billion in Oath revenue by 2020. The media entertainment unit, which includes AOL, Yahoo, Verizon digital media services and related brands such as TechCrunch, Engadget and HuffPost, reported quarterly revenue of $1.8 billion – down nearly 7% from last year.

Tim Armstrong, the former AOL CEO who headed Oath since its inception, exited the unit in September and was replaced by K. Guru Gowrappan, effective Oct. 1.

Finally, go90, Verizon’s short-lived video entertainment app targeting younger mobile users, ceased operations in quarter after generating about $1 billion in losses.