& cplSiteName &

Comcast Finds Sweet Spot With X1

Alan Breznick
4/22/2014
50%
50%

Comcast appears to have recaptured its old video mojo, thanks largely to its new X1 IP video gateways.

In another upbeat earnings call Tuesday morning, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) reported that it gained 24,000 video subscribers in the first quarter as it continued to deploy the X1 hybrid QAM/IP video gateways aggressively throughout its regions. That gain, reversing a loss of 25,000 video customers in the first quarter of last year, was the second straight quarterly increase for the largest US MSO after a losing streak of 26 consecutive quarters over the past seven years. (See Comcast Breaks Video Sub Skid.)

Comcast executives gave most of the credit to the X1, which gives subscribers a cloud-based user interface that offers a stark improvement over the legacy set-top box interface. The X1, now deployed in all Comcast systems, has helped cut the voluntary customer churn rate by 20-30% while boosting video viewing rates and on-demand, transactional, and advertising revenue, the executives said.

Calling the X1 "a game changer," Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said it "creates a really fantastic opportunity" to increase customer satisfaction, develop new services, and generate fresh revenue. "It's an architectural change that we haven't seen in a long time."

Delighted by the reception that the X1 has received from more than 7 million triple-play customers, Comcast officials said they're also offering the service to double-play customers. They have also stepped up deployments of the video gateways, installing an average of 15,000-20,000 boxes a day, double the rate of six months ago.

In another video highlight from the earnings report, Comcast said it increased the number of subscribers taking such advanced video services as HD and DVRs to 12.6 million. That represents 56% of its total 22.6 million video customers, versus 53% of the base a year earlier.

Yet Comcast still has more than 200,000 fewer video customers than it did a year ago, due to the heavy subscriber losses it endured last spring and summer. Its video totals are looking up again, but the company still faces an uphill climb to reclaim all the TV subscribers it has lost since 2007.

Weighed down by heavy video subscriber losses in 2013, when it shed more than 300,000 basic cable customers, Comcast barely eked out a year-over-year increase in video revenue for the first quarter. Video revenue climbed a mere 1.3% to nearly $5.2 billion as modest price increases more than offset the subscriber losses.

Overall revenue from Comcast's huge cable communications division rose 5.3% to almost $10.8 billion, due mainly to robust growth in the high-speed data, advertising, and business services sectors. In particular, business services kept up its stunning growth, surging nearly 24% to a record $917 million. At that pace, Comcast could become the first cable operator to eclipse the $4 billion annual commercial services revenue mark this year.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
smkinoshita
50%
50%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 6:32:59 PM
Re: Basic cable
@danielcawrey:  "One thing that Comcast is surely doing well in is providing broadband, especially business class. Almost every business today needs internet, and Comcast makes a ton of margin on selling upper tier internet services, primarily for use during workdays. "

I think you've hit the main point, Daniel.  Internet is becoming as standard as a phone number, and some businesses are oprating virtually to save on costs.  
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
4/22/2014 | 5:56:53 PM
Re: Basic cable
Didn't some of the video subs go to the telcos? Not a ton but some. 

I suspect most have gone to online viewing in response to ever-higher cable costs. 
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/22/2014 | 2:53:26 PM
Basic cable
I wonder where all of those basic cable customers are going? Sure, some of them are getting Netflix or Hulu, but are some of them switching to satellite?

One thing that Comcast is surely doing well in is providing broadband, especially business class. Almost every business today needs internet, and Comcast makes a ton of margin on selling upper tier internet services, primarily for use during workdays. 
Light Readingís Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.