Comcast, Altice Video Subscriber Losses Accelerate In Q1, Offset By Broadband Growth

Pay-TV players continue to report accelerated video subscriber losses in this year’s first quarter, with Comcast and Altice the latest to weigh in. While increased cord-cutting has been a reality for years now due to the ongoing consumer shift from traditional linear to OTT, the operators must now also deal with the suspension of most major sports as of mid March due to the pandemic. Live sports coverage is both a major driver of cable subscriptions and the largest contributor to the costs of cable TV bundles. While Comcast added more broadband customers in the quarter than at any time in 12 years (paid customers were up by 477,000), it saw net residential cable TV subscribers drop by 388,000, versus a 107,000 loss in Q1 2019. That brought its total residential subscribers down to 19. 9 million.

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