Cable One sticks with TV as other operators drop traditional video service

Cable One installer
Cable One ended the fourth quarter with 298,000 video customers, down about 3.9% year over year. (Cable One)

Cable One said it’s sticking with its traditional linear video product even as many of its contemporaries are abandoning TV amid declining demand and rising costs.

During the company’s most recent earnings call, CEO Julia Laulis was asked about recent moves by WOW! and Google Fiber, and whether Cable One would consider ditching cable and offering a virtualized service instead.

“It’s not our intention to drop video at this time. It’s been a nice mix for us as video declines and the revenues, not the cash flows, but the revenues going down, and us filling the buckets back up with high-speed data in business services. How we deliver that product might change in the future, but no plans right now to drop video outright,” Laulis said.

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Cable One ended the fourth quarter with 298,000 video customers, down about 3.9% year over year.

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Traditional video subscriber losses for cable, satellite and telecom distributors are happening at the fastest rate ever now. In the fourth quarter, analyst firm MoffettNathanson said the rate of decline hit 6.8%, and that cable operators are starting to see their losses pick up the pace.

Amid the decline, operators including Google Fiber, WOW!, Windstream, Verizon Fios and more have embraced offering third-party streaming TV services to their broadband subscribers.

Cable One, for the time being, is holding fast. The company was asked about Comcast’s Flex platform for broadband subscribers, and Laulis said her company has thought about it as an option for further monetizing HSD connections.

“I think right now our focus is on growing the business and maybe we can – we have friends at Comcast and we’ve talked to them as they’ve launched it and we’re going to wait and see how that goes. I think we’re hesitant to do anything that might get us in a place like what exists on video, where we are not in control of our destiny,” Laulis said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

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