Comcast Excited To Have Lost 4,000 TV Subscribers This Spring


Comcast is just so happy this morning, you guys! Their second quarter results are out and they are thrilled, just thrilled, to announce that they lost 4,000 TV subscribers in the last three months.

Why are they so psyched to have to record a loss? Well, it’s a heck of a lot better than the loss of 69,000 they had to report at the same time last year… or all the other springtime losses they’ve been reporting for a very, very long time.

Comcast’s specific language about it, in their statement to investors, is that “video customers net losses improved to 4,000, the best second quarter result in over 10 years.”

Think about that, for a minute. That means that for more than a decade, the best Comcast can do in April to June of every year is to lose only 4,000 TV subscribers.

In fairness, their overall TV-subscriber trend remains roughly flat. At this time last year, Comcast reported 22.3 million TV subscribers, and at the same time this year, they report… roughly 22.3 million TV subscribers. The major driver of increased subscriptions comes, as you’d guess, from broadband.

Comcast reports an increase of 220,000 broadband customers in the second quarter which, in the overall growth of the company, entirely offsets a lost of 4,000 TV viewers. Comcast has also found a way to entice some would be cord-cutters into getting small TV packages along with their broadband, by making those bundles cheaper than internet access alone.

Still, a world in which a public company happily and proudly touts a loss of 4,000 customers as a win for any quarter is a world that needs to sit down and examine that business model. TV subscriptions aren’t dropping every quarter at every provider, but it’s a consistent enough trend that you can no longer just consider it the thing kids these days are doing.

Subscribers may not have options for broadband, but the marketplace for video is, indeed, getting to be competitive. Customers are unhappy with their bills and think their providers suck at customer service. Add in a whole growing world of online options, and a loss of only 4,000 customers starts to seem like a great quarter indeed.

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