Comcast Finishes Strong 2004 with a Whimper

Comcast reported a record setting year for high-speed data services, adding 1.7 million subscribers and generating $3.1 billion in revenue in 2004. However, the MSO lost momentum in Q4 following a red-hot Q3. High-speed data additions slipped 20% to 437,900 in Q4 as Comcast finished the year with 6.92 million. Digital video subscriber additions also dipped in Q4, down 26.7% to 250,000. On the high-speed data side, it's worth noting that Comcast's 2004 subscriber gains benefited from the MSO adding over 5 million new marketable homes for HSD service during the year. But entering 2005, Comcast was selling HSD to 98% of its homes passed, so there won't be any easy pickings this year. Also of note, after seven straight quarters of phone subscriber losses due to a ramp down of its circuit-switched phone business, Comcast reported a gain of 10,000 voice subs in Q4. Could it be that most of these subs are connected via VoIP? If so, it's still a tiny fraction of the 1.2 million circuit-switched subs served by the MSO. Speaking of VoIP, Comcast reiterated it expects to market IP phone service to 15 million homes by the end of 2005 with most markets launching in the second half of the year.
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