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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Comcast Says 36.9 Million Xfinity Customers’ Data Hacked

Comcast Dec. 19 disclosed that personal data — including passwords, contact information and partial social security numbers — of more than 36 million Xfinity subscribers has been breached by third-party hackers.

Comcast is the nation’s largest pay-TV operator and internet service provider.

In early October, one of Xfinity’s software providers, Citrix, announced a
security vulnerability in one of its products used by Xfinity and thousands of other companies worldwide. Despite measures to safeguard subscriber data, Comcast believes that between Oct. 16 and Oct. 19, hackers made unauthorized access to some of its internal systems.

Comcast is asking Xfinity subscribers to change their passwords, in addition to enrolling in a two-step verification or multi-factor authentication process. The company also suggests changing the password information if used on outside accounts.

“We can’t emphasize enough how seriously we are taking this matter,” Comcast said in a statement. “We remain committed to continue investing in technology, protocols and experts dedicated to helping to protect your data and keeping you, our customer, safe.”

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Comcast Loses Nearly 500,000 Q3 Pay-TV Subs as Broadband Sub Losses Continue

Comcast Oct. 26 reported a loss of 490,000 cable television subscribers in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The nation’s largest cable operator lost 561,000 subscribers in the previous-year period. Comcast ended the quarter with 14.495 million cable subscribers, down more than 2 million subs from the prior-year period.

The cable subscriber losses reflect ongoing secular changes in home entertainment, which continue to see consumers dropping linear pay-TV service for alternative digital distribution channels.

Meanwhile, Comcast’s ability to offset cable TV sub losses with high-speed internet subscriber gains continues to lose steam.

The nation’s largest internet service provider (ISP) saw a loss of 18,000 broadband subs in the quarter, compared with a gain of 19,000 subs in the previous-year period. Comcast ended the quarter with 32.28 million broadband subs, which includes 2.5 million business customers. That is down 55,000 subs from the same fiscal period last year.

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Comcast Posts 543,000 Q2 Pay-TV Sub Loss as Offsetting Broadband Customer Gains Disappear

Comcast Cable reported a loss of 20,000 residential broadband subscribers in the second quarter (ended June 30), compared to a loss of 10,000 high-speed internet subs in the same period a year ago. The company ended the quarter with 29.8 million high-speed residential customers, the largest ISP provider in the country.

Comcast has always relied on broadband — the lifeline to streaming and digital distribution — to justify ongoing secular declines in linear television and pay-TV. That trend has slowly come to an end over the past several quarters.

While the company added 3,000 broadband subs in the first quarter (ended March 31), that paled in comparison to the 253,000 net additions in Q1 2022.

Comcast president Mike Cavanagh would rather focus on the 4.5% increase in average revenue per broadband subscriber, which helped drive broadband revenue up 4.4% to $6.37 billion.

“We’re the largest broadband provider … and we can effectively compete in wireless with a strong value-proposition to customers,” Cavanagh said on the fiscal call, adding that broadband features that include cloud-based X1 and Flex platforms.

“[This is] how we have been able to achieve near record levels of low churn, and grow ARPU consistently quarter after quarter,” he said.

Meanwhile, the nation’s No. 1 cable TV operator continues to hemorrhage legacy pay-TV subscribers — falling below 15 million subs for the first time. Comcast saw Q2 subscriber losses increase 4% to 543,000 from a loss of 521,000 subs in the prior-year period. The company ended the period with 14.98 million subs, down from 17.14 million subs last year, which represented a subscriber loss of more than 2 million over the past 12 months.

Xfinity Expands ‘Christmas in July’ With More Hallmark Movies

Comcast’s Xfinity pay-TV platform has expanded its “Christmas in July” marketing campaign featuring with festive songs from digital platforms Music Choice Holiday and titles from Hallmark Movies Now for the “Free this Week” platform.

Among the content featured in this week’s collection, includes playlists Peaceful Piano Christmas and the series, “When Calls the Heart,” among others. The Christmas-themed content is available from July 24 to 30, on the cloud-based X1, broadband-only Flex service and ad-supported Xumo TV.

Xfinity Offering Pay-TV Subs $1 Movie Rentals, Free Peacock Service, Discounted Theatrical, Theme Park Access

Comcast-owned pay-TV service Xfinity July 11 announced the return of its “Summer of Movies” marketing campaign, affording “Rewards” subscribers an array of complimentary and discounted movies, premium content, and exclusive entertainment experiences across Comcast’s brands through Aug. 13.

Rewards members have access to five free digital movie downloads, beginning with the original 1996 Mission: Impossible. A different movie will be released each Monday and can be accessed at-home, or on-the-go on the X1, Stream and Flex platforms.

Xfinity is also offering $1 weekend movie rentals across a library of thousands of titles originally priced up to $5.99 each on X1, Stream and Flex.

NBCUniversal’s Fandango ticket service is also offering a buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer for new release Oppenheimer, which debuts in theaters July 21. The promotion ends Aug. 13.

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Diamond and Platinum Xfinity Rewards subscribers can now redeem a complimentary subscription to Peacock Premium, while Xfinity is giving away 100 50-inch smart TVs with Xumo OS, UHD, 4K HDR Dolby Vision, a voice remote, and a six-month Peacock Premium subscription.

Members can also access a Universal Orlando Resort three-day ticket for the price of a regular two-day admission ticket, or save on a two-park, one-day VIP Tour Experience.

The campaign aims to offer perks to stop it from bleeding subscribers. Xfinity ended the most-recent fiscal period with 15.5 million subscribers, down from 17.6 million subs at the end of the prior-year period. Xfinity lost 614,000 pay-TV subs in the first three months of 2023.

“This is just one way we’re leveraging Comcast’s portfolio of brands to deliver even more value to our Xfinity customers,” Pooja Kapadia, VP of customer loyalty and growth at Comcast, said in a statement.

Comcast Giving Xfinity Subs Free Week Access to Rival Max Streaming Service

Comcast July 10 began making the Max subscription streaming platform available for free for one week (through July 16) to Xfinity X1 pay-TV, online TV Flex and Stream subscribers. Comcast’s proprietary Peacock streaming service is a competitor to Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max platform.

Max access is part of Comcast’s year-long ‘Free This Week’ marketing campaign designed to showcase value-added benefits of being an Xfinity subscriber. The move also coincides with Comcast ending free Peacock access to Xfinity subs.

Max access includes full catalog of on-demand programming, including drama series, “The Idol,” as well as box office hit Avatar 2: The Way of Water, among other content.

“Free This Week” comes 10 years after Comcast launched its inaugural free content sampling, “Watchathon Week,” showcasing proprietary and third-party content. The campaign’s programming will also be available for Xfinity broadband customers, and curated into one simple to navigate destination available on X1 and Flex.

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Comcast Expands Q1 Video Subscriber Loss to 614,000 as Broadband Sub Growth Cools

Comcast April 27 disclosed it lost 614,000 Xfinity video subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31). That is up 20% from a subscriber loss of 512,000 during the previous-year period. The cable operator ended the quarter with 15.5 million subscribers, down more than 2.1 million subs from 17.6 million during the prior-year period.

Notably, high-speed internet subscriber growth cooled significantly, with the nation’s largest ISP adding just 5,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter, down from 264,000 subscriber additions in the prior-year period. Comcast ended the quarter with 32.324 million broadband subs, from 32.32 million in the previous-year period.

Fewer new broadband subs didn’t negatively impact revenue growth, as the average monthly data use per broadband subscriber reached nearly 700 gigabytes, and drove broadband revenue growth 4.8% to $6.3 billion from $6 billion in the prior-year period.

Speaking on the fiscal call, Mike Cavanagh, named president of NBCUniversal in the wake of the abrupt firing of Jeff Shell following his inappropriate workplace relationship, said that while adding broadband subs in immediate future would be a challenge due to the macro economic environment, he fully expects to return to normal subscriber growth in the long-term.

“We have the best hand out there to win against all the competing technologies, whether its fiber or its wireless,” said Cavanagh, who remains president of Comcast Corp., while adding that more 100 million people engage with Comcast content across its distribution channels every month.

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Comcast Bows ‘Free This Week’ Marketing Campaign Featuring Third-Party Content

Comcast Jan. 3 announced the launch of “Free This Week,” a new year-long marketing campaign that aims to offer Xfinity customers more reasons to remain pay-TV subscribers. The program offers subs access to a weekly selection of content from top participating streaming services and premium networks.

The programming will be curated and available on X1 and Flex, in addition to the Xfinity Stream app and Xumo’s XClass TV.

The first two weeks will feature free access to wellness apps such as The Great Courses, Gaia, One Day University, Gaiam TV, Sweat Factor and FitFusion by Jillian Michaels. Future participating networks and streaming services include HBO Max, Paramount Global’s Showtime, Revolt, History Vault and Lifetime Movie Club, among others.

The campaign comes 10 years after Xfinity’s inaugural free content sampling, Watchathon Week, and represents an evolution of the company’s free programming strategy providing customers with something free to watch, every week of the year. New data released by Xfinity shows viewership typically doubles during the time a network or streaming service participates in a content sampling initiative.

“We are offering customers a no-strings-attached chance to discover something new every week of the year, building on the great success previously established with events like Watchathon Week and Free TV Week,” Sophia Ahmad, EVP and CMO for Comcast Cable, said in a statement.

Comcast Giving Away Digital Movies Through Aug. 1

Comcast has launched a summer catalog movie program that aims to reward Xfinity subscribers for their loyalty to cable TV. Through Aug. 1, the cable giant’s “Summer of Movies” series gives Xfinity Rewards members access to one free downloadable movie on their X1 or Flex device.

The series kicked off June 28 with the 1996 sci-fi actioner Independence Day, co-starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Mary McDonnell and Jeff Goldblum, among others. A new downloadable movie will be released each Tuesday.

Existing rewards members can visit xfinity.com/rewards to see what movie is currently available to download.

“Unlike other rewards programs, there’s no points to earn or track,” Pooja Kapadia, VP of customer growth and loyalty, said in a statement. “Our goal was to create easy access to great discounts, events, and virtual and live experiences.”

Joining Xfinity Rewards is free for eligible Xfinity customers through the Xfinity App or online at xfinity.com/rewards.

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Upon enrolling, members are placed in Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond tier based on how long they’ve been a customer, with access and the types of rewards based on tenure with Comcast. Rewards are available immediately upon signing up for the program so members can start exploring and enjoying them right away with new opportunities added frequently throughout the year.