Comcast adds 89,000 pay-TV, 460,000 broadband subs in Q4

By Jim O'Neill on Feb 03 2016 at 7:15 AM
Comcast adds 89,000 pay-TV, 460,000 broadband subs in Q4

Comcast beat Wall Street estimates on revenues for Q4 2015, with sales of $19.08 billion for the quarter, off $320 million; EPS was 81 cents, missing by 1 cent.

For the quarter Comcast added 89,000 video customers, editing the year down 36,000 customers, its best video subscriber numbers in eight years and a result that CEO Brian Roberts, during the company’s earnings call, described as “heroic.”

Comcast also added 460,000 broadband customers, ending the year up 1.37 million subscribers, its tenth year in a row that it added more than 1 million broadband customers.

The company anticipates “significant room” for broadband growth and said it was also continuing to deploy Wi-Fi hot spots; it now has deployed some 13.3 million hotspots.

Revenue for video was up 4.4% to $5.4 billion and 30% of customers now have Comcast’s X1 set-top box, with an addition 40,000 boxes being distributed daily. Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit said during the earnings call that he expects about 50% of pay-TV customers to have X1 by the end of the year. Smith said the X1 box helped grow VOD usage 40%, as well as helping to reduce customer churn.

Broadband revenues topped $3.2 billion, up 9.8% for the quarter, continuing to show the most rapid revenue growth for Comcast’s cable segment.

Expenses for the video side of the business continued to climb, with content costs increasing 4.7% in the quarter and customer service expenses up 11.7%.

Comcast this week announced it had begun to rollout DOCSIS 3.1 service, which will allow scalable distribution of gigabit broadband service, in five cities. Smit said widespread distribution would occur during the next few years, but declined to say what the pricing for 1 Gbps would be moving forward.

Stay tuned.

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