Comcast Sheds 69,000 Video Subscribers23 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel
These days in the pay-TV world any reduction in video subscriber losses is hailed as progress.
Comcast Cable July 23 said it lost 69,000 video subs in the second-quarter (ended June 30) to finish with a base of 22.4 million subs. That compared with a loss of 144,000 video subs during the previous-year period.
Comcast said the losses were the best result for a second quarter in nine years. Comcast ended the period with 22.3 million subs, which was slightly more than half Netflix’s 42 million domestic subs.
The No. 1 cabler continues to be pressured by the evolution of over-the-top video and direct-to-consumer video programming. Year-over-year, it has lost 151,000 video subscribers — many would argue to OTT video.
To fight back, Comcast is expanding the value of being an Xfinity broadband subscriber. It is set to begin beta-testing a standalone subscription streaming service available only on portable media devices. Called “Stream,” the $15 monthly service will begin testing in Boston at the end of summer, followed by Chicago and Seattle, with plans to make it available nationwide by early 2016.
Indeed, Xfinity broadband subs are up nearly 1.3 million year-over-year at more than 22.5 million.
Comcast also recently announced a joint venture with Electronic Arts to develop a new service that brings high-definition video gaming to the television via the cable giant’s broadband-based X1 set-top box.