January 26, 2021
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.
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.