30 ABR 2021

COMCAST AND SLING EXPERIENCED A LARGE SUBSCRIBER DECLINE IN Q1

Comcast lost 404,000 residential video and 87,000 business services video customers. It now has 18.59 million video subscribers and 765,000 total business video subscribers. Sling TV has approximately 2.374 million remaining subscribers and ranks as the No. 3 virtual MVPD platform,

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Comcast suffered a loss of 491,000 pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter, exceeding the amount it loss during the same period last year. Similarly, Sling TV lost 281,000 customers during the first three months of 2020.“We are off to a great start in 2021. Our entire company performed well across the board, highlighted by another strong performance from cable, which posted its third consecutive quarter of double-digit Adjusted EBITDA growth while adding the most quarterly customer relationships in our company’s history. Outside of cable, I was also very pleased by the persistent recovery and increasing momentum at NBCUniversal and Sky,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement.

Comcast lost 404,000 residential video and 87,000 business services video customers, dropping its residential video subscriber total down to 18.59 million and business video total to 765,000.
However, thanks to increasing average rates, Comcast Cable’s video revenue largely held steady at $5.62 billion, down just 0.2% year over year. Video is still the largest revenue contributor for Comcast Cable but just barely, as broadband revenues reached $5.6 billion during the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA for the Cable segment increased 12.4% to $6.8 billion in the first quarter thanks to higher revenue partially offset by a 1.5% increase in operating expenses. Video programming costs increased 5.5% but were somewhat offset by continued video subscriber declines.Dish Network reported the loss of 130,000 satellite TV customers, dropping its base below 8.7 million users.  According to Dish chairman Ergen, Sling TV “should have more market share” among virtual pay-TV providers. “We stumbled a little there with the quality of the user experience,” Ergen said. “Our network was the best and the first, but we got a little complacent.

The loss for Sling TV actually represents a marked deceleration in decline, with Sling TV losing  281,000 customers in the first quarter of 2020. It lost 118,000 subscribers in Q4. Sling TV has around 2.374 million remaining subscribers and ranks as the No. 3 virtual MVPD platform, trailing Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV--two platforms that entered the market several years after Sling TV. Peacock contributed $91 million of revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $277 million, compared to a loss of $59 million in the prior-year period. 

We are off to a great start in 2021. Our entire company performed well across the board, highlighted by another strong performance from cable, which posted its third consecutive quarter of double-digit Adjusted EBITDA growth while adding the most quarterly customer relationships in our company’s history. Outside of cable, I was also very pleased by the persistent recovery and increasing momentum at NBCUniversal and Sky.” Brian Roberts CEO, Comcast