Time Warner Cable Loses 94,000 Video Subs in Q126 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Time Warner Cable April 26 said it lost 94,000 video subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31), underscoring ongoing shifts in consumer behavior toward home entertainment, including transactional video-on-demand and premium pay-TV channels.
The No. 2 cable operator said residential video subscribers topped 11.8 million, a tally that has steadily declined during the past year after losing 453,000 video subs in 2011, including 129,000 subs in the fourth quarter, 128,000 subs in the Q3, 130,000 subs in Q2 and 66,000 subs in Q1.
Time Warner Cable said video subs rented fewer transactional VOD movies and reduced access to premium channels such as HBO and Showtime.
Pay-TV households primarily are dropping or downsizing service due to the size of the monthly bill (37%), limited use of the channels (21%), the economy (15%) and availability of lower-cost options Internet-based video services Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime (10%), among other factors, according to a recent report by Centris Research.
The downturn in video subs industrywide has prompted cable and satellite TV opetators to roll out TV Everywhere platforms and subscription VOD services such as Comcast's Xfinity Streampix and Dish Networks' Blockbuster@Home. Indeed, TWC recently made available HBO Go to subs after concluding beta testing of the pay-TV channel's TV Everywhere platform.
On the bright side, TWC added 214,000 high-speed Internet subscribers, in addition to 112,000 voice (telephone) subs. It also added more than 1.5 million residential subscribers — including 673,000 video subs — following completion of its acquisition of cable operator Insight Communications.