Cablecos fill pay-TV hole with broadband

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 17 May 2015

US cable firms may be struggling with their pay-TV offer but when it comes to broadband they have got their game according to new survey data from the Leichtman Research Group.

The research found that the seventeen largest cable and telephone providers in the US added over a million broadband subscribers in the first quarter of 2015, accounting in all for over 88.5 million subscribers.

The leading cable companies contributed about 53 million of this total, around 86% of the net broadband additions for the quarter compared with the top telephone companies, and added over 1,000,000 broadband subscribers in Q1 2015. This represented 104% of the net additions for the top cable companies in Q1 2014. By comparison the leading telcos companies added about 160,000 subscribers, 81% of the total net additions for the top telephone companies in Q1 2014.

LRG also found that the top cable broadband providers now have a 60% share of the market versus telcos for the first time since Q2 2005. Of the latter AT&T and Verizon added 573,000 subscribers from their U-verse and FiOS offerings in 1Q 2015, while having a net loss of 463,000 DSL subscribers. U-verse and FiOS broadband subscribers now account for 54% of telco broadband subscribers, compared with 40% two years ago. Comcast was the leading cable firm with 22.369 million customers, adding 407,000 subs in the quarter.

"Cable companies had another strong quarter for broadband in 1Q 2015, adding over 1,000,000 subscribers in the quarter. This was the first quarter with over a million net broadband adds for cable since 1Q 2008," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for the Leichtman Research Group . "Cable also accounted for 90% of the 3,000,000 broadband additions over the past year, growing their market share versus telcos back to 60% for the first time in nearly a decade."