AT&T's DSL Pain Offset by U-Verse Gains

Here's what's turning cable's crank today.

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) posted a net gain of 718,000 U-verse high-speed Internet subs in the first quarter for a total of 5.9 million, more than offsetting the more than 615,000 DSL subs it lost in the period. The company added 103,000 total wireline broadband connections in the period, noting that about 45 percent of its broadband customers are on plans that deliver speeds of 6 Mbit/s or more, a 35 percent gain from the year-ago quarter. On the video front, the telco added 200,000 U-verse TV subscribers, giving it a total of 4 million. It added 218,000 U-verse TV subs a year earlier. (See Verizon Downplays DSL in FiOS Markets .)

  • For Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) to reach its goal of 7 million net subscriber additions in 2012, it will have to deliver about 21 million gross adds during the year and nearly 7.1 million gross adds in the fourth quarter alone, predicts Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Carlos Kirjner in a research note issued Tuesday morning. Netflix shares plummeted about 17 percent Monday in after-hours trading over concerns that the company would deliver lower-than-expected subscriber additions in the second quarter. The research firm believes that Netflix could reach a subscriber saturation point as it approaches 30 million paying subscribers around the first half of 2013. Netflix ended the first quarter with 22 million paying domestic video streaming subs. (See Netflix Beats Predictions, But Stock Slips Anyway.)

  • Synacor Inc. has won a deal to build a TV Everywhere platform for Midcontinent Communications (Midco) that includes support for HBO GO and MAX GO on iOS gear, select Android devices, Samsung Corp. Smart TVs, Roku Inc. boxes, and the Xbox 360. Midcontinent serves about 275,000 customers in parts of North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  • Blockbuster Inc. will relocate its headquarters from McKinney, Texas, to Douglas County, Colo., where it will share a campus with Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), which acquired the video rental chain last year. Dish claims the move will bring more than 150 management positions to the greater Denver area over the next five years. (See Dish Bundles Up Blockbuster .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:35:21 PM
    re: AT&T's DSL Pain Offset by U-Verse Gains

    Shouldn't the change in DSL subs be described as something other than a loss, since there's a very good chance that most of those subs switched over to U-Verse? There probably is very little pain involved for AT&T here.

    Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:35:18 PM
    re: AT&T's DSL Pain Offset by U-Verse Gains

    Regarding Netflix, you said "gross ads." "What did you mean by ads? Or did you meangross adds (with two Ds)?

    shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:35:17 PM
    re: AT&T's DSL Pain Offset by U-Verse Gains

    The DSL-iminated? Copper cutters? Broadband migrants?

    I kind of like copper cutters.

    As far as the difference between U-Verse new subs and total increase in broadband subs, that kind of reinforces the idea that most of the new U-Versers are coming from the DSL side.

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:35:17 PM
    re: AT&T's DSL Pain Offset by U-Verse Gains

    AT&T is trying to spin this  as a migration/growth story since it does not break out legacy DSL totals anymore, in part to hide the hideousness. But if they say there is a net gain of 718K U-verse HSD subs but only 103K total wireline broadband connections, there's still a big difference to account for. But the point is well taken. . Shall we start calling these "migrated" DSL subs since we don't really know how many were upgraded versus how many fled for cable broadband or another option? Suggestions?  JB


    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:35:17 PM
    re: AT&T's DSL Pain Offset by U-Verse Gains

    Should be two, as in additions, and now it is. Versus a gross ad, like a disgusting advertisement/commercial, and we all know there's enough of those. ;)

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