Customers are continuing to jump ship from cable TV, and Comcast is facing the aftermath of it as it has lost roughly 389,000 TV subscribers in the last few months of 2023, according to its fourth-quarter earnings report.
The culprit of the plunge of subscribers can be attributed to cord-cutting, which is a trend where consumers have been canceling their cable TV services in favor of subscribing to streaming services such as HBO, Hulu, Netflix, etc. in an effort to save money.
The average cable TV bill is around $20 to $145 a month, while streaming is around $6.99 to $74.99 a month, according to Allconnect.
Comcast has been on a roll with hiking its prices for its TV and internet service for the past few years. Its last price hike was announced in December where the company warned customers that they will see a 3% increase in their bills on average for 2024 citing rising costs, according to Bloomberg. The company also revealed with the news outlet that its internet service alone will increase by $3 a month.
In Comcast’s fourth-quarter earnings report, it revealed that in addition to losing over 300,000 TV subscribers during the quarter in 2023, it also lost 34,000 broadband customers. This is a stark increase from the 18,000 loss in broadband customers it reported in the third quarter of 2023.
A Comcast Xfinity truck is photographed driving down a street.
Image source: Shutterstock
“While we do not expect subscriber trends to improve in the coming quarters, we do expect them to improve over time,” said Jason Armstrong, chief financial officer at Comcast, during a fourth-quarter results earnings call.
Armstrong also highlighted during the earnings call that because customers are consuming more and connecting more devices in their homes where they are using applications that require faster internet speeds, the “secular trends are all moving” in the company’s “favor.”
In the U.S., TV households that have “a live pay-TV service (via cable, satellite, Telco, or Internet-delivered vMVPD)” has decreased by 78% since 2018, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.
“The percent of U.S. TV households with a live pay-TV service waned over the past decade, with a more precipitous decline over the past five years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.