Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 04-08-2011
Comcast, the US largest cable operator, has lost another 238,000 video subscribers in the three months between April and June 2011.
The company will take some consolation from the fact that all other American MSOs are currently suffering from equally alarming churn rates. Perhaps even more encouraging for the Philadelphia-based operator, the loss is 10% smaller than it was in the same period a year ago, when 265,000 video customers cancelled their subscriptions.
In fact, financial analysts were generally positively surprised by Comcast’s second-quarter earning figures, which included total revenues of $14.3 billion (a 50.5% jump compared with the same quarter in 2010).
Such performance is mainly explained by two factors. The first is that NBC Universal, the media and entertainment conglomerate of which Comcast acquired a majority stake at the beginning of this year, posted double-digit revenue growth across all its four divisions.
The second major contribution came from the broadband side of Comcast’s operations. The company added 144,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter, up 22% from last year. Voice subscriptions were also up by 193,000.
While there is little that Comcast and its fellow US cable carriers can do to persuade video customers to stay in the face of increasingly strong competition from telco, satellite and over-the-top (OTT) providers, Comcast can at least take refuge in one important aspect: hundreds of thousands of cancelled video subscriptions are not translating into lost revenue at the moment.
In fact, video-generated revenue in the second quarter increased by just over 1% year-on-year. According the Comcast’s CFO Michael Angelakis, this is due in part to an increasing number of those video customers that do decide to stay put taking more sophisticated packages.