Cable companies gained 608K broadband subs in sector's quietly solid Q2

Although the pay-TV industry overall reported its largest ever quarterly subscriber loss, the cable sector actually fared well in the second quarter in terms of Internet customers. Indeed, cable companies in the second quarter finally managed to beat back the insurgent telcos that had eaten into its Internet access market share over the last decade.

SNL Kagan reported that cable companies added 608,000 high speed data (HSD) customers in the second quarter. The gains were cable's biggest in the second quarter since 2008. They also represented steady improvement over the 430,000 added in the second quarter of 2014 and the 338,000 added in the second quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, the telco sector actually lost 146,000 HSD customers in the quarter. 

The accelerating gains in HSD customers occurred as the cable sector experienced markedly decelerating losses in video subscribers. Although the pay-TV business, overall, lost a record 625,000 customers in the second quarter, SNL Kagan noted that most of the pain was felt by satellite and telco operators. 

But cable had its best video subscriber performance since 2008, registering only 350,000 lost pay-TV users. 

"Last week, cord-cutting dominated the headlines," said MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett to investors. But he noted that the fact that the cable industry fared well in video -- not just relatively well but genuinely well -- got far less attention.

"As it turns out, the cable industry also did very well in broadband," Moffett added. "The cable industry captured the highest share of broadband net additions ever in Q2, eclipsing 100 percent of the market's growth for only the second time. On a year over year basis, cable broadband subscriber growth accelerated to 6.1 percent, the fastest growth in three years."

For more:
- read this MoffettNathanson report (sub. req.)

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