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Comcast Posts Best Quarterly Video Sub Gain in 8 Years

3 Feb, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Comcast Cable Feb. 3 reported 89,000 net video subscriber additions for the fourth quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2015), compared with 6,000 net additions for the previous-year period. It marked the No. 1 cabler’s best quarterly result in eight years.

For the year, Comcast lost 36,000 video subs, which was nearly an 82% improvement from a loss of 194,000 video subs in 2014. The cabler ended 2015 with 22.34 million subscribers, compared with 22.38 million in the previous-year period.

The cabler cited improved pricing options, including skinny bundles and over-the-top video offerings, for the trend reversal.

Comcast joins No. 2 cabler Time Warner Cable in halting a longterm trend of video subscriber losses. TWC last month said it added 32,000 net video subscribers, its best quarterly result in 10 years.

The results follow similarly “upbeat” Q3 results, which saw the industrywide number of video losses “reduced” to 393,000. Indeed, more than 1 million domestic video subs have dropped service year-over-year.

“The heyday of traditional pay-TV has passed, not because there is no growth, but because there is an increasing value shift to lower-cost markets and platforms. Channels and content owners must look to new business models to sustain growth. Direct-to-consumer brands [i.e. OTT video] that can scale globally must now become a part of all channel groups’ portfolios,” Guy Bisson, research director at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement.

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