Comcast loses 248,000 video subscribers in Q4

Comcast
A bright spot for NBCUniversal during the pandemic has been the launch of Peacock, the company’s new ad-supported streaming service. (Comcast)

Comcast lost another 227,000 residential video subscribers in the fourth quarter but the company’s cable segment more than made up for it with broadband growth.

The loss was significantly higher than the 133,000 residential customers Comcast lost in the same quarter last year. The company also lost 21,000 business video customers, bringing its total net video losses to 248,000, nearly 100,000 more than in lost in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Comcast ended the fourth quarter with approximately 18.99 million residential video subscribers.

Despite another quarter of video subscriber declines, Comcast’s video revenues only slumped 0.7% year over year thanks to rate increases. In the meantime, high-speed internet revenues rose 12.7% and the broadband business added 538,000 net subscribers while wireless and business services kicked in to raise overall Comcast Cable revenues 6.3% to $15.7 billion.

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“Outstanding performance at Cable drove very strong fourth quarter results for our company. We added 538,000 net new broadband customers and delivered adjusted EBITDA growth of over 12%,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in a statement.

As expected, NBCUniversal took a significant hit due to continued struggles for the theme parks business, which saw its revenue decline by 62.9% during the quarter. While theme parks lead the revenue losses, cable networks, broadcast television and filmed entertainment all saw varying declines. Overall, NBCUniversal revenues dropped 18.1% to $7.5 billion and adjusted EBITDA fell 20.7% to $1.6 billion.

A bright spot for NBCUniversal during the pandemic has been the launch of Peacock, the company’s new ad-supported streaming service. The company said the service has now attracted 33 million sign-ups in the U.S., up from 26 million sign-ups announced in December 2020.

However, Comcast’s corporate and other business segment saw its adjusted EBITDA loss swell to $2.4 billion in 2020, an increase of $1.6 billion compared to 2019. The company attributed the decline to severance charges related to its Sky and NBCUniversal segments and costs associated with Peacock.