The cable industry will be buoyed by its growing broadband business as consumer preferences change over the next decade, and it expected to drive residential revenues to $117.7 billion in 2026, up from $108.4 billion this year.
Researcher SNL Kagan’s 10-Year Cable Projections also forecasts a slowing of cord cutting, and offers a slightly improved outlook for the video segment, and says bundling of services also will increase.
Broadband signups have begun to slow in the U.S. as the market begins to reach a point of saturation, but the 17 largest telcos and cable companies nevertheless added nearly 1.1 million new subscribers in the first quarter of the year.
Leichtman Research Group said the top broadband providers now account for more than 91.5 million subscribers – with cable companies having the lion’s share of subscribers, about 56.3 million, compared to 35.2 million broadband subscribers for telcos.
Time Warner Cable – which could be consumed by Charter Communications by mid-May if its takeover bid is approved – delivered better-than-expected Q1 results with adjusted earnings of $518 million, or $1.81 per share, compared to $1.65 a year ago, on revenue that rose 7% to $6.19 billion. Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $1.74 a share on revenue of $6.14 billion.
The 17 largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. – representing about 94% of the market – added more than 3.1 million high-speed Internet subscribers in 2015, the most in a single year since 2010, when they added 3.4 million. The increase was just slightly more than a year ago, when operators added 3 million broadband subscribers.
As broadband penetration in the United States approaches saturation, broadband ads are slowing, but only slightly. A new report said the top 17 operators added more than 645,000 new high-speed Internet customers in the third quarter.
That number was down slightly from 3Q 2014, when the industry added 700,000 new subscribers.
A pair of analyst firms see light at the end of the U.S. pay-TV industry’s subscriber woes.
Moffett Nathanson, in a research note, said improving subscriber metrics for Comcast, Charter and Charter acquisition target Time Warner Cable, suggest those three companies are doing better than the rest of the industry – notably telcos and satellite companies – and could expect to see market share gains in coming years, leveraging their broadband infrastructure investments.
Cable operators added some 511,000 broadband subscribers in the second quarter, as the evolution of U.S. operators into ISPs continued apace in the second quarter.
Overall, the top 17 largest cable and telephone service providers in the nation added about 360,000 new Internet subscribers to their customer rolls, just less than the 385,000 they added in the same quarter a year ago.
Fixed broadband networks continue to expand globally as demand for fast Internet connections – often specifically for over-the-top (OTT) video and subscription video on-demand (SVOD) – accelerates. Worldwide, the number of fixed broadband subscriptions increased to 720 million at the end of March 2015, some 50 million more than a year ago.
Fixed broadband subscriptions globally, driven by fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and DOCSIS 3.0 technologies, are forecast to near 1 billion in 2019.
While DSL remains the largest delivery vehicle for fixed broadband, Infonetics Research, in its new FTTH, DSL, and Cable Subscribers report, said FTTH subscribers jumped 22 percent in 2014 from 2013, crossing the 100 million threshold for the first time.
Time Warner Cable, Comcast’s merger in waiting, reported it lost 38,000 video customers in Q4 2014, and also missed earnings and revenue expectations. A year ago, TWC lost 85,000 residential video customers in the final quarter.
Broadband access is ubiquitous across the United States, with 99% of Americans having access to fixed or wireless Internet services.
But, according to a National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) survey, just three-quarters of households in 2012 are connected to a fixed broadband connection. Some 28% of those without connections blamed high prices.
China had more than 200 million broadband subscribers at the end of the second quarter, more than a quarter of all broadband subscribers in the world.
Research from Point Topic said global subscriptions passed 700 million in the quarter, and forecast that strong growth would continue.