& cplSiteName &

Cable Cuts Video Losses in Q1

Mari Silbey
5/19/2014
50%
50%

In a classic case of bad news/good news, US cable companies continued to lose video subscribers in the first quarter, but they lost fewer subs than at any time since the beginning of 2009.

In the latest report by Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) , the nine largest US cable operators lost about 50,000 video customers in the quarter, while the two national satellite TV providers added 52,000 subscribers, and the top telecom TV companies added 258,000 video subs.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) bucked the cable trend by adding 24,000 video customers in the first three months of the year, a pattern of growth that has held steady over the last two quarters. Executives at Comcast attribute the rise to the successful rollout of the cloud-based X1 service. (See Comcast Finds Sweet Spot With X1.)

In another hopeful sign for the industry, two other major MSOs joined Comcast on the plus side for the winter quarter. Charter Communications Inc. gained 13,000 subscribers, and Suddenlink Communications added 2,400 new video customers.

But most major MSOs still registered more losses. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) lost 34,000 video subscribers, followed by Cable One Inc. , which lost 14,331 subs; Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), which lost 14,000 subs; and Mediacom Communications Corp. , which lost 8,000 subs.

Overall, cable companies slowed the rate of their subscriber losses, while satellite TV and telecom companies slowed their rates of gain. DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) added only 12,000 video customers after adding 21,000 in Q1 of 2013. Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), however, bumped its numbers up by 40,000 subs, as compared to the 36,000 it added in the year-ago quarter.

On the telecom side, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) added 57,000 FiOS video customers between January and March, but that's way down from 169,000 additions in the first quarter of 2013 as FiOS appears to be hitting the limits of its footprint. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) netted a very healthy 201,000 U-verse video customers, slightly down from the 232,000 subscribers it added in the first quarter of last year.

The latest results in the race for video subscribers come amid several proposed mergers and acquisitions in the pay-TV industry. In addition to Comcast's plan to acquire Time Warner Cable and the proposal for a new Comcast/Charter spin-off company to be headed by industry veteran Michael Willner, AT&T announced its intention on Sunday to acquire DirecTV for $48.5 billion. (See Charter/Comcast Tap Willner for Spinoff and AT&T to Acquire DirecTV for $48.5B.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 1:36:14 PM
Re: Count the cord cuts
The doom and gloom paints cord-cutting as a snowballing phenomenon that will only grow over time. The snowball has not gotten very big, as the current facts show. And now it has melted a bit. Just as networks will change, video aggregation services will adapt. And, really, cord-cutting is incompatible with all broadband-delivered video service. So there.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 1:18:06 PM
Re: Count the cord cuts
"With 260K net adds for video services, it looks like cord-cutting has already run its course."

Not likely. This is a long game. We're talking a decade or more as networks improve and deals get struck. Also keep in mind that cable and broadcast spend BILLIONS in keeping Internet video disruption and innovation from smaller players at bay, whether that's in the form of lobbying, usage caps or restrictive liscening.

I think it would be a significant error to declare this a fight that has been won by the cable and broadcast sector. They've got a very tricky next ten years to look forward to.
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 1:15:42 PM
Re: Count the cord cuts
Agree. More specifically I think it really comes down to live sports in a lot of households...
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 4:50:55 PM
Re: Count the cord cuts
I think that people can only cord cut so much. As much as I personally like services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, it doesn't offer the level of content that cable providers can. 

Live television has been guarded by these operators; as it should. I think that the online and on demand services have a place, but live TV is still live TV. 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 3:26:55 PM
Netflick
I've gotten to the point where I no longer spend time searching all over for entertainment or even specifically looking for a particular show or movie.   When I want to relax in front of the tube (I mean panel), and there's no pro-Sports on, I watch a "Netflix".  That is, I go to Netflix, and just pick one of the top recommendations.  If it's bad, I skip to the next, until I get hooked.   It's like what they used to call channel surfing...back in the 20th century when we had those things called channels.

I find that once I made myself see entertainment in terms of what is available, it changed my outlook.   For example, "Gold Rush", a 50 episode series about a group of unemployed construction workers who go to Alaska to mine gold.  I thought I'd get about halfway through episode one, but I ended up binging through the the thing over hte course of a week or two.   So that's 4% of my video entertainment year taken up by one show!
wanlord
50%
50%
wanlord,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 2:27:23 PM
Re: Count the cord cuts
Anything to increase ARPU. Pop Up adds on my TV now... Or VOD programs embedded in broadcast line ups in the guide, so you select it thinking it's being broadcasted and it takes you into the slow VOD menu trying to get you to purchased it and you are lucky if you get out of VOD or DVR without the box crashing...

 

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/19/2014 | 2:13:21 PM
Count the cord cuts
With 260K net adds for video services, it looks like cord-cutting has already run its course.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Turkcell Challenges Turkey's Current TV Market

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Baris Zavaroglu, TV and rntertainment business director of Turkcell, explains Turkcell's strategy in elevating the small and uncertain TV market in Turkey.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Altibox’s Infrastructure Synergy Strategy Reduces Deployment Costs

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Thomas Skjelbred, CEO of Altibox, on how to improve efficiency and reduce deployment coast through infrastructure synergy in Norway.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ismail Butun on the Changing Role of Turkcell

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ismail Butun, chief marketing officer of Turkcell, explains the importance of video and mobile services for the future of the company.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IDC's Emir Halilovic on Trends of Cloudification

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Emir Halilovic of IDC CEMA discusses the future and direction of cloudification. Also, the all-cloud approach taken by Huawei and others in the industry.
LRTV Custom TV
How Intel Is Powering the 5G Era

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading tours a series of 5G "super demos" so see how Intel envisions the 5G-connected future. We take a look at a prototype connected BMW, a light pole with environmental sensors that provides 5G wireless to a smart home and a fully untethered virtual reality experience.
LRTV Custom TV
Source Photonics CEO Doug Wright Talks About the Future of Source Photonics

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Source Photonics' CEO, Doug Wright, talks to Light Reading about how the company is continuously investing in its operations to meet not only its customers' current technology demands but also to deliver their next-generation technology needs.
LRTV Custom TV
Live Demo: DevOps in Service Chains & 5G Network Slices PoC

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Executives from PoC collaborating companies – Patrick Waldemar, VP and Head of Technology at Telenor Research, John Healy, VP of the Datacenter Network Solutions Group at Intel, Vincent Spinelli, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at RIFT.io, Mats Eriksson, CEO and co-founder of Arctos Labs, and Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds – review ...
LRTV Documentaries
The Year of Fat & Skinny Bundles

3|29|17   |   21:06   |   (0) comments


In this fireside chat, Roku's Andrew Ferrone predicts that 2017 will be the year of multichannel OTT video bundles and spells out other trends in the OTT and pay-TV markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
BBWF 2016: Orange Poland's Next-Gen Central Office

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


Introduction to Orange Poland's legacy next-generation central office solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Viavi at OFC 2017

3|28|17   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief Craig Matsumoto reports from the Viavi booth at OFC and gets an update on the 400G testing market from Tom Fawcett, VP and GM of LAB & Production. At this year's event, Viavi won three awards from Lightwave magazine and showcased an interoperability demo with Ethernet Alliance and Finisar.
LRTV Custom TV
Connecting the Entire Home With DOCSIS 3.1

3|28|17   |   3:58:   |   (0) comments


Hitron Technologies had the first cable modem certified for DOCSIS 3.1 and already has over 120,000 units in the field. Greg Fisher, CTO of Hitron, provides an update on his company's rollout of new gateways and why he thinks DOCSIS 3.1 will continue to drive value for operators into 2017 and beyond.
LRTV Interviews
Amazon Prime's Hand of God Creator on Producing for OTT

3|28|17   |     |   (1) comment


Ben Watkins is the creator, writer and producer of Hand of God, a series on Amazon Prime. At Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen conference in Denver, he explained the advantages of producing for an OTT platform versus traditional TV.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Unlocking China's $194B Telecom Market
Robert Clark, 3/27/2017
Ericsson Tightens Focus, Warns of $1.7B Q1 Hit
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/28/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Working From Home Doesn't Work for Everyone Click Here
You shouldn't nap on your keyboard, for instance.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.