Comcast loses 149,000 video subscribers in Q4

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts highlighted opportunities his company is pursuing this year, including ad-supported streaming service Peacock. (Comcast)

Comcast reported a net loss of 149,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter, which brought its full-year total video losses to 733,000.

The losses were well ahead of 29,000 video subscribers the cable provider gave back in the year-ago quarter but an improvement over the 238,000 lost in the third quarter for 2019.

Comcast ended 2019 with approximately 21.25 million video subscribers (about 20.3 million residential and 966,000 business subscribers). However, Comcast’s total customer relationships increased by 372,000 to 31.5 million thanks largely to another strong quarter for high-speed internet customer net additions, which totaled 1.4 million for 2019.

Comcast Cable revenue increased 2.6% to $14.8 billion in the fourth quarter due to increases in high-speed internet, business services and wireless revenue, partially offset by a decrease in advertising revenue. Adjusted EBITDA for the cable segment increased 5.4% to $5.9 billion.

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Revenue for NBCUniversal fell 2.6% to $9.2 billion and adjusted EBITDA fell 4.7% to $2 billion in the fourth quarter due to sharp drop-offs at the company’s filmed entertainment segment.

Cable Networks revenue rose 1.2% to $2.9 billion thanks to higher advertising and content licensing and other revenue. Broadcast Television revenue rose 2.1% to $3.2 billion due to higher distribution and other and content licensing revenue, offset somewhat by a decrease in advertising revenue. Filmed entertainment revenue decreased 21% to $1.6 billion.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pointed toward opportunities his company is pursuing this year.

“Looking ahead, in 2020 we are leaning into exciting opportunities, including: further differentiating our broadband product in the U.S. through innovations like Flex and xFi Advanced Security; accelerating the deployment of Sky Q; launching a new broadband service in Italy; debuting Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan; and introducing a world-class streaming service - Peacock - which leverages capabilities from across Comcast,” said Roberts in a statement.