RIP, Cable: Comcast Lost Almost 400,000 Video Subscribers in One Quarter

RIP, Cable: Comcast Lost Almost 400,000 Video Subscribers in One Quarter

The Comcast, despite the pay-TV losses, posted revenue of $16 billion from its cable business, a 10.9 percent increase over the year before.

Comcast Thursday released its second quarter earnings Thursday, and the company revealed that it lost just under 400,000 video subscribers in the quarter. The company had lost about 491,000 video subscribers in the first quarter.

According to CNBC, Comcast’s overall financial performance in the quarter beat analyst expectations, with revenue of $28.55 billion, with the company also adding 354,000 broadband subscribers, compared to the analyst prediction of 270,000.

The Comcast, despite the pay-TV losses, posted revenue of $16 billion from its cable business, a 10.9 percent increase over the year before.

“We delivered excellent results in the quarter, continuing our great start to the year,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in the release. “At Cable, our performance was exceptional, highlighted by eleven percent revenue and fifteen percent Adjusted EBITDA growth, the best broadband and total customer relationship net additions on record for a second quarter, and the most wireless net additions since the launch of Xfinity Mobile in 2017.”

The company also said that its Peacock streaming service now has fifty-four million sign-ups, with more than twenty million monthly active accounts. This comes as the 2020 Olympics, seen as a major event for Peacock, has gotten underway.

“We remain committed to innovating for our customers and investing for a strong future. I have great confidence in our strategy and our ability to execute, which is reflected in our decision to restart our share repurchase program during the quarter, earlier than previously planned,” Roberts added in the earnings release.

Parrot Analytics put out a report this week, coinciding with the Comcast release, showing demand for Peacock’s content.

“As Peacock’s Olympic coverage debuts a year later than originally scheduled, Parrot Analytics has analyzed its performance in the U.S. streaming market, revealing relatively strong demand for the Peacock catalog, but tepid demand for Peacock Originals,” the report from Parrot said.

"Peacock’s US share of demand for on-platform content in Q2 2021 was 8.4 percent—putting it in fifth place overall, just above Paramount+ (7.9 percent) and slightly behind HBO Max (9.8 percent). The streamer is successfully leveraging its large library of legacy content and shows still airing on linear TV.”

However, Peacock remains behind in original content, offering just 1.4 percent of the U.S. original demand share. The Peacock shows with exceptionally high demand, according to the report, are not originals; it’s mostly NBC-associated shows like Saturday Night LiveThe VoiceLaw & Order: SVU, and The Tonight Show.

“Looking at the most in-demand series that were available on Peacock in the past quarter it is clear that this platform’s strength comes from its linear original offerings, mostly former and current NBC shows,” the report said.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters