Comcast Lost 389,000 Q4 Video Subs, Upped Broadband Sub Loss to 34,000

Comcast’s legacy cable pay-TV business saw 389,000 subscribers drop video service in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2023. While the sub loss was lower than the 440,000 subs lost in the previous-year period, the loss continues a trend of more than 2 million subs annually dropping pay-TV service.

Comcast ended the year with 14.1 million pay-TV subscribers, down from 16.14 million subs at the end of 2022, and 18.17 million subs at the end of 2021.

The nation’s last broadband provider reported a net loss of 34,000 high-speed internet subscribers, up from a loss of 23,000 subs in the previous-year period. For the fiscal year, Comcast lost 66,000 broadband subs, compared with a gain of 243,000 subs in 2022.

Comcast ended 2023 with 32.25 million high-speed internet subs, down from 32.31 million at the end of 2022.

Regardless of the sub losses, Comcast president Michael Cavanagh said the company’s legacy cable business, in addition to Xfinity streaming platforms and broadband reach remain a competitive advantage for both original and third-party licensed content.

“We’ve seen a lot of collaboration with players that want to reach the kind of consumers we have through broadband and video,” Cavanagh said.

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Research: 840,000 Consumers Added Broadband in the Second Quarter

After a brief decline, the largest cable and wireless telecom services in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – added about 840,000 net additional high-speed internet (broadband) subscribers in the second quarter, ended June 30, compared to a pro forma gain of about 700,000 subscribers in the previous-year period, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group.

These top broadband providers now account for over 112.9 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 76.2 million broadband subscribers, top wireline phone companies having about 30.7 million subscribers, and top fixed wireless services having about 5.9 million subscribers.

Leichtman found that overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2023 were 120% of those in 2Q 2022. The top cable companies added about 10,000 subscribers in 2Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 60,000 in 2Q 2022.

The top wireline phone companies lost about 60,000 total broadband subscribers in 2Q 2023 – similar to about 60,000 net losses in 2Q 2022. Wireline Telcos had about 450,000 net adds via fiber in 2Q 2023, and about 510,000 non-fiber net losses.

Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 890,000 subscribers in 2Q – compared to 815,000 net adds in 2Q 2022.

“Fixed wireless services have acquired more than 800,000 net [subs] in each of the past five quarters, accounting for about 4.45 million net adds in that period,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a comment.

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of 2Q 2023 Net Adds in 2Q 2023
Cable Companies
Comcast 32,305,000 (19,000)
Charter 30,586,000 77,000
Altice 4,576,100 (36,600)
Cable One 1,057,900 (5,100)
Breezeline 680,785 (6,734)
Other major private companies 7,035,000 0
Total Top Cable 76,240,785 9,566
Wireline Phone Companies
AT&T 15,304,000 (41,000)
Verizon 7,562,000 34,000
Lumen 2,909,000 (72,000)
Frontier 2,865,000 2,000
Windstream^ 1,175,000 0
TDS 523,600 8,200
Consolidated 376,829 6,967
Total Top Wireline Phone 30,715,429 (61,833)
Fixed Wireless Services
T-Mobile 3,678,000 509,000
Verizon 2,260,000 384,000
Total Top Fixed Wireless 5,938,000 893,000
Total Top Broadband 112,894,214 840,733

Verizon’s Fios TV Lost 339,000 Subscribers in 2022

Verizon Jan. 24 disclosed it lost 80,000 Fios TV subscribers in the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2022) to end the fiscal year with a decline of 339,000 pay-TV subs. The telecom, which lost 281,000 pay-TV subs in 2021, ended 2022 with 3.23 million Fios TV subs.

At the same time, Verizon added 56,000 high-speed internet subscribers to end the year with more than 6.7 million broadband subs, up 3% from 6.54 million subs at the end of 2021.

The telecom, which offers mobile subs free access to third-party subscription streaming services AMC+ and Disney+ (including Disney bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu), recently launched +Play, a new platform enabling subscribers easier access to third-party SVOD services, including Netflix.

“Wireless mobility and nationwide broadband will be two of the most significant contributors to our growth for the next several years,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

Report: High-Speed Internet Service Reaching Saturation Point in U.S. Homes

A chicken in every pot has been replaced with high-speed internet service.

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group (based on a survey of 1,910 U.S. households) found that 90% of U.S. households get an internet service at home, compared to 84% in 2017, and 74% in 2007. Broadband (or high-speed internet, accounts for 99% of households with internet service, and 89% of all households get a broadband service — an increase from 82% in 2017, and 53% in 2007.

This study also found that 90% of households use a laptop or desktop computer, an increase from 85% in 2017. Of those that use a laptop or desktop computer at home, 96% have internet service. Indeed, the two consumer electronics devices are key to household internet service. Households without a laptop or desktop computer account for 58% of all home without internet service.

“The percentage of households getting an Internet service at home, including high-speed broadband, is higher than in any previous year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement.

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The report also found that individuals ages 65 and older account for 34% of those who do not get an internet service at home. About 56% of broadband subscribers are very satisfied (8-10 on a 1-10 scale) with their internet service, while 6% are not satisfied.

Another 44% of broadband subscribers do not know the download speed of their service — compared with 60% in 2017. About 61% reporting internet speeds of greater than 100 Mbps are very satisfied with their service, compared with 41% with speeds less than 50 Mbps, and 57% that do not know their speed

About 40% of broadband households get a bundle of services from a single provider — compared to 64% in 2017, and 78% in 2012, and 59% of adults with household internet service watch video online daily — unchanged since 2020, but up from 43% in 2017, and 17% in 2012.

“Computer usage and knowledge remain the foundation for Internet services in the home,” Leichtman said.

Leichtman: Pay-TV Operators Lost 785K Subs, Added 825K Broadband Customers in Q3

High-speed internet service is a gift that keeps on giving to pay-TV operators while video subscribers continue to decline.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the United States — representing about 92% of the market — lost about 785,000 net video subscribers in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30), compared with a net loss of 650,000 subs in the prior-year period.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 71.4 million subscribers — with the top seven cable companies having about 38.6 million video subscribers, other services (telecom and satellite) having about 24.8 million subs, and online services (i.e., Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, etc.) having more than 8 million subs.

“Spurred by a strong quarter from [online TV] services, pay-TV net losses in 3Q were more modest than in the first two quarters of the year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Not including YouTube TV, which does not regularly report subscriber totals, [online TV] had nearly 900,000 net additions in the quarter. This was the third-most quarterly net adds ever for the top publicly reporting online services.”

The pay-TV subscriber losses continue to be mitigated by ongoing high-speed internet subscriber gains.

Leichtman found that the largest cable and telecom providers and fixed wireless services in the United States — representing about 96% of the market — added 825,000 net broadband subscribers in Q3, similar to a gain of about 820,000 subs a year ago.

These top broadband providers account for about 110.8 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 75.6 million broadband subs, wireline phone companies having more than 32 million subs, and top fixed wireless services having about 3.2 million subs.

“Over the past year, fixed wireless services have accounted for nearly 80% of the approximately 3.26 million broadband subscriber additions,” Leichtman reported.

Comcast Lost 1.52 Million Video Subs Through September as Broadband Growth Stalls

Comcast Cable continues to lose pay-TV subscribers in bunches. The nation’s No. 1 pay-TV operator said it lost 540,000 subs in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30). That’s up more than 40% from a loss of 383,000 subs in the previous-year period. Through nine months of the fiscal year, Comcast has shed more than 1.52 million video subs, up more than 32% from a loss of 1.15 million in fiscal 2021.

The cabler ended the period with 16.6 million subscribers, down 11% from 18.5 million subs in 2021.

Meanwhile, Comcast, like other pay-TV operators, continues to offset video subscriber losses with gains in high-speed, or broadband customers. That trend slowed significantly in the quarter as Comcast added just 10,000 residential broadband subs compared with 281,000 subs in the previous-year period. The company added 5,000 business subscribers, down from 19,000 last year.

From January through September, Comcast added 253,000 residential broadband subs and 24,000 business subs. That’s down significantly compared with the addition of more than 1 million residential subs and 54,000 business customers in the same period a year earlier.

The company ended the quarter with more than 32.1 million broadband subs, up 1.5% from 31.6 million in 2021.

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Parks: 93% of U.S. Households to Have Broadband Service by 2025

As more U.S. households ditch pay-TV service, they are also signing up for high-speed internet service, or broadband (from the same pay-TV operators) to access over-the-top video entertainment, including live sports.

Data analysis from Parks Associates in Dallas, Texas, suggests that 93% of all U.S. homes will subscribe to a broadband service by 2025. About 84% of U.S. households have high-speed internet access today, according to The Internet & Television Association.

“The home broadband market is entering a time of renewed competition and innovation, with the emergence of several new players and growing fiber deployments,” Kristen Hanich, director of research at Parks, said in a statement.

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Hanich said that while adoption of the original pay-TV bundle is declining, new value-added services are providing new opportunities for increasing customer satisfaction and growing revenue.

“Optimized Wi-Fi and gateway-based cybersecurity are popular in the residential market, and in the multiple dwelling unit (MDU) space, bulk internet and managed Wi-Fi deployments make this a competitive, but potentially lucrative, market,” she said.

Internet Service Providers Cool Q2 Broadband Sub Additions to 670,000

Pay-TV video subscriber losses continue to be high-speed internet’s gain, albeit more slowly.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. — representing about 96% of the market — acquired about 670,000 net additional broadband internet subscribers in Q2 (ended June 30), compared with a gain of about 1 million subs in in the previous year period.

These providers account for about 110 million combined subs, with top cable companies having about 75.6 million broadband subs, top wireline phone companies having about 32.2 million subs, and top fixed wireless services having about 2.2 million subs.

Leichtman found that overall broadband additions in Q2 were 67% of those last year. The top cable companies lost about 60,000 subs in the quarter compared to about 840,000 net adds last year. The top wireline phone companies lost about 85,000 total broadband subs compared to about 50,000 net adds last year.

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Wireline Telcos had about 490,000 net adds via fiber, and about 575,000 non-fiber net losses. Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 815,000 subs compared to about 120,000 net adds last year.

“Over the past year, there were about 3.26 million net broadband adds, with fixed wireless services accounting for 56% of them,” senior analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement.

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of Q2 2022 Net Adds in Q2 2022
Cable Companies    
Comcast 32,163,000 0
Charter 30,253,000 (21,000)
Cox 5,560,000 0
Altice 4,333,600 (39,600)
Mediacom 1,468,000 0
Cable One 1,059,000 2,000
Breezeline 717,919 (1,689)
Total Top Cable 75,554,519 (60,289)
Wireline Phone Companies    
AT&T 15,509,000 (24,000)
Verizon 7,412,000 12,000
Lumen 4,377,000 (90,000)
Frontier 2,827,000 8,000
Windstream 1,178,500 2,500
TDS^ 500,800 5,600
Consolidated 381,213 1,063
Total Top Wireline Phone 32,185,513 (84,837)
Fixed Wireless Services    
T-Mobile 1,544,000 560,000
Verizon 700,000 256,000
Total Top Fixed Wireless 2,244,000 816,000
Total Top Broadband 109,984,032 670,874

Report: Pay-TV Operators Added 1 Million Broadband Subs in Q1, Down From Last Year

As pay-TV operators continue to hemorrhage video subscribers, the offsetting silver lining continues to be high-speed internet service.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. — representing about 96% of the market — acquired about 1.065 million net additional broadband internet subs in 1Q 2022, compared with a pro forma gain of about 1.12 million subs in 1Q 2021.

These broadband providers account for about 109.3 million subs, with top cable companies having about 75.6 million broadband subs, top wireline phone companies having about 32.3 million subs, and top fixed wireless services having about 1.4 million subs.

Overall, Leichtman said broadband additions in Q1 were 95% of those in the previous-year period. The top cable companies added about 480,000 subs in the quarter — 52% of the net additions for the top cable companies last year. The top wireline phone companies added about 50,000 total broadband subs — compared with about 80,000 net adds in last year.

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Meanwhile, telecoms offering broadband realized about 480,000 net adds via fiber, and about 430,000 non-fiber net losses. Fixed wireless/5G home internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 530,000 subs in the quarter — compared with 110,000 net adds a year earlier.

“The distribution of net broadband additions differed from a year ago,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Fixed wireless services accounted for half of the net broadband adds in the quarter, compared to about 10% of the net adds [last year].””

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of Q1 2022 Net Adds in Q1 2022
Cable Companies    
Comcast 32.163 million 262,000
Charter 30.274 million 185,000
Cox 5.560 million 30,000
Altice 4.373 million (13,000)
Mediacom 1.468 million 5,000
Cable One 1.057 million 11,000
Breezeline 719,608 2,830
Total Top Cable 75.614 million 482,830
Wireline Phone Companies    
AT&T 15.533 million 29,000
Verizon 7.400 million 35,000
Lumen 4.470 million (49,000)
Frontier 2.819 million 20,000
Windstream 1.176 million 11,300
TDS^ 495,200 4,900
Consolidated 380,150 (850)
Total Top Wireline Phone 32.273 million 50,350
Fixed Wireless Services    
T-Mobile 984,000 338,000
Verizon 433,000 194,000
Total Top Fixed Wireless 1.417 million 532,000
Total Top Broadband 109.305 million 1.065 million

Verizon Adds Q3 Broadband Subs, Loses Video

Verizon Oct. 20 revealed it lost 68,000 video subscribers in the third quarter (ended Sept. 30), to finish the period with 3.6 million Fios TV subs. That compared with a loss of 61,000 video subs in the previous-year period. Over the past nine months, Verizon has lost 212,000 pay-TV subs, down from 226,000 subs during the previous-year period. Year-over-year, Fios TV lost 284,000 subs.

Offsetting the pay-TV losses was broadband, the high-speed Internet required to deliver streaming video the “last mile” into consumer homes.

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Verizon, along with Comcast, AT&T and others, is one of the largest ISPs in the country. The telecom said it added 98,000 broadband subs in the quarter, down from 139,000 additions in the previous-year period. The company ended the period with almost 6.5 million broadband subs, up from 6.1 million last year. Over the past nine months, Verizon has added 288,000 high-speed Internet subs, compared with a gain of 208,000 subs during the previous-year period.

“We are seeing strong demand for connectivity across our consumer and business segments as our … network quality and unique partnerships are resonating with both new and existing customers,” chief financial officer Matt Ellis said in a statement.