If there’s a silver lining for pay-TV distributors hemorrhaging video subscribers, it’s high-speed Internet. Linear TV subs dropping service are doing so for alternative home entertainment channels delivered over the Web. To get that distribution requires broadband, which most pay-TV operators deliver.
New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. — representing about 96% of the market — acquired about 1.24 million net additional broadband Internet subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30, which was up 233% from a gain of about 375,000 subs in the previous-year period.
These top broadband providers now account for about 103.3 million subs, with top cable companies having 70.6 million broadband subs, and top wireline phone companies having 32.7 million subs.
Findings for the quarter include:
- Overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2020 were about 870,000 more than in 2Q 2019;
- Broadband additions overall were the most in any quarter since 1Q 2012;
- The top cable companies added about 1,400,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020 — compared to a net gain of about 530,000 subscribers in 2Q 2019;
- Cable broadband net additions were the most in any quarter since 1Q 2007;
- Charter’s 850,000 net adds in 2Q 2020 were more than for any provider in any previous quarter;
- The top wireline phone companies had a net loss of about 155,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020 — compared to a net loss of about 160,000 subscribers in 2Q 2019.
“With the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 2Q, than in any quarter in eight years,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “In the first half of 2020, there were over 2.4 million net broadband additions. This is the most net adds in the first half of any year since 2008.”