Advanced Television

Research: US broadband subs surpass pay-TV

May 22, 2017

According to the latest findings from specialist broadband, media and entertainment industries analyst firm Leichtman Research Group (LRG) the fourteen largest cable and telephone providers in the US – representing about 95 per cent of the market – acquired about 960,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in Q1 2017.

These top broadband providers now account for 93.9 million subscribers – with top cable companies having 59.4 million broadband subscribers, and top telephone companies having 34.5 million subscribers.

Findings for the quarter include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in Q1 2017 were 85 per cent of those in Q1 2016
  • The top cable companies added about 1,000,000 subscribers in Q1 2017 – 90 per cent of the net additions for the top cable companies in Q1 2016
  • The top telephone companies lost about 45,000 subscribers in Q1 2017 – compared to a gain of about 10,000 broadband subscribers in Q1 2016
  • Telco providers have had net broadband losses in seven of the past eight quarters
  • Over the past year, there were about 2,530,000 net broadband adds — compared to about 3,035,000 over the prior year

“With the addition of nearly one million subscribers in the quarter, the top cable and telco broadband providers in the US cumulatively now account for over 93.9 million subscribers in the US,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “In the first quarter of 2017, the number of broadband subscribers surpassed the number of pay-TV subscribers in the US.”

Broadband Providers Subscribers at End
of Q1 2017
Net Adds in
Q1 2017
Cable Companies
Comcast 25,131,000 430,000
Charter 23,051,000 458,000
Altice* 4,002,000 39,000
Mediacom** 1,179,000 17,000
WOW (WideOpenWest) 729,000 10,100
Cable ONE 523,327 9,419
Other Major Private Company^ 4,830,000 40,000
Total Top Cable 59,445,327 1,003,519
Phone Companies
AT&T 15,695,000 90,000
Verizon 7,011,000 (27,000)
CenturyLink 5,945,000 0
Frontier 4,164,000 (107,000)
Windstream 1,047,600 (3,500)
Cincinnati Bell 307,400 4,200
FairPoint 305,353 (1,271)
Total Top Telco 34,475,353 (44,571)
Total Top Broadband 93,920,680 958,948

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Altice adjusted Suddenlink totals from prior reported amounts to align with Optimum metrics
** Mediacom includes pro forma results from a small system acquisition in January 2017
^ Includes LRG estimate for Cox
Totals reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top cable and telephone companies represent approximately 95 per cent of all subscribers

Categories: Articles, Broadband, Cable, ISP, Markets, Research, Telco