Comcast Lost 512,000 Q1 Video Subs, Broadband Sub Growth Down 43%

Comcast Cable April 28 reported a first-quarter (ended March 31) net loss of 512,000 pay-TV subscribers, up more than 4% from a net loss of 491,000 video subs in the prior-year period. The cable giant ended the period with 17.6 million video subs, down almost 1.7 million subs from last year.

The sub loss reflects the ongoing consumer transition from pay-TV to alternative channels, including subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD streaming. That said, high-speed internet, a prerequisite to stream video in the home, saw subscriber growth cool for the first time in several quarters.

Comcast said it gained 262,000 broadband subs in the quarter, which was down 43% from a sub gain of 461,000 in the prior-year period. The company ended the period with 32.1 million high-speed internet subs, up from 31 million last year.

The company said the silver lining in the sub growth slowdown underscored the fact that the fiscal period produced the “highest level of customer retention on record for any quarter.”

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Comcast also lost 282,000 telephone subscribers, up from a loss of 106,000 subs in 2021. Total voice subs topped 10.1 million, down from 10.8 million last year.

Video revenue decreased 1.5%, reflecting a decrease in the number of residential video customers, partially offset by an increase in average rates. Voice revenue decreased 9.8%, primarily reflecting a decrease in the number of residential voice customers.

The best thing CEO Brian Roberts could say about the cable business was that Comcast was increasing broadband capacity.

“We are providing our customers with cutting-edge equipment that delivers the best in-home experience,” Roberts said in a statement.