Cable's broadband share declining, slower growth predicted

Cable's flow share (share of net adds) of the terrestrial broadband market is still strong, accounting for an estimated 78 percent of the market in third quarter. However, that  flow share is down significantly from third quarter 2012, when cable was estimated to make up about 99 percent of the share. According to a research note from MoffettNathanson, the overall terrestrial broadband market is slowing, with growth coming in at just 3.4 percent in the third quarter. MoffettNathanson said about 73 percent of households have terrestrial broadband today, and it expects that to reach around 80 percent in the next three years.

According to the report's author, Craig Moffett, senior analyst at MoffettNathanson Research, a year ago cable was taking the majority of the flow share in the market, but while still strong, that share is declining. Specifically, he noted that two of the top five cable operators in the market--Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC)--reported a decline in subscribers in the third quarter. By contrast, every major telco (with the exception of Windstream), Moffett said, reported gains in subscribers.

Moffett also said slower broadband growth coupled with increasing competition could cause cable operators to see subscriber growth dip below 5 percent for the first time. A year ago, Moffett said, cable's subscriber growth was holding steady at 6.3 percent.

For more:
- see this report (sub. req.)
- see this website

Special Report: Cable in the third quarter of 2013

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Update:  Article was updated to clarify that cable's flow share is the share of net adds.