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Comcast Posts Big Subscriber Gains in Q1

Alan Breznick

Exceeding the expectations of most Wall Street analysts, Comcast racked up very strong subscriber gains across the board in the first quarter, boosting its revenue, profit and share price. North America's largest MSO netted 340,000 digital cable customers in Q1, generating its highest digital sub increase ever for a winter quarter. As a result, the company ended the quarter with 10.1 million digital video subscribers, enough to give it a 47% penetration rate of its 21.5 million basic cable customer base. Comcast also added 437,000 broadband subscribers in Q1, again breaking its old record for first quarter increases. Thanks to the gain, it wrapped up March with nearly 9.0 million high-speed data customers, boosting its penetration of available homes to 22%. Comcast also signed up 211,000 VoIP customers in the quarter, more than it picked up in all of 2005. Consequently, the MSO more than doubled its IP telephony subscriber total to 416,000. But it shed 70,000 circuit-switched phone customers, cutting its total voice gain to 141,000 subscribers. Finally, Comcast gained 47,000 basic cable customers, its highest Q1 increase in that category since 2003. Added together, these gains amounted to 965,000 new revenue generating units (RGUs), a company record for any quarter.

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