April 23, 2019
Verizon dreams of a 5G future while stuck in pay-TV reality.
The nation’s largest wireless carrier April 23 reported it lost 53,000 Fios TV subscribers in the first quarter, ended March 31. That compared to a loss of 22,000 video subs in the previous-year period.
Verizon ended the period with 4.39 million Fios TV subs compared to 4.59 million subs last year — down 199,000 net subs, or 4.3% from 2018.
The company attributed the decline to ongoing consumer migration away from linear pay-TV to over-the-top video platforms.
While Verizon Internet connections increased 3.4% to 6.1 million from 5.9 million, broadband connections fell nearly 19% to 854,000.
The company ended the period with 6.97 million broadband connections, up 0.1% from 6.96 million subs last year.
Separately, Verizon Media, which includes Yahoo!, HuffPost, TechCrunch, Engadget, Makers and other brands, saw revenue drop more than 7% to $1.8 billion – largely due to declines in desktop advertising revenue offsetting gains in mobile ads.
Regardless, CEO Hans Vestberg touted Verizon’s “leadership” position in 4G and ongoing “innovation” in 5G wireless technology.
Rollout of branded OTT video products remains notably absent following last year’s $1 billion write-down of Go90, Verizon’s short-lived mobile video app.
“We are leading the world in the development of new technologies with the launch of our 5G network,” Vestberg said in a statement. “Our ambition remains unchanged to provide the most advanced next-generation networks in the world.”