Comcast lost close to 500,000 video subscribers during the second quarter, just as the cable operator predicted earlier this summer.
The cable operator said it lost 427,000 residential video subscribers and another 51,000 business services video subscribers for a total net loss of approximately 477,000. The company has now lost 815,000 residential video subscribers through the first six months of 2020.
In June, CFO Mike Cavanagh spoke at an investor conference and predicted that the amount of spread for video subscriber losses year over year would be about the same in the second quarter versus a year ago as it was in the first quarter. A similar level of acceleration in losses for the second quarter would have meant that Comcast lost up to 490,000 video subscribers, slightly more than the 477,000 it reported.
Comcast ended the quarter with approximately 19.47 million residential video subscribers, down from 20.64 million one year ago.
Comcast’s cable segment revenues largely held steady at approximately $14.4 billion as high-speed internet, wireless and business services revenue helped offset decreases in video, advertising, voice and other revenue. The company said the results were negatively impacted by COVID-19, including accrued customer regional sports network (RSN) fee adjustments, reduced advertising revenue and lower revenue due to Xfinity's commitment to the FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge.
While Comcast’s cable segment remained mostly unscathed despite accelerating video subscriber losses, the NBCUniversal business was dealt another significant blow by the pandemic. The segment’s consolidated revenues fell 25.4% to about $6.1 billion, lead mostly by a staggering 94.1% drop off in theme park revenues.
The cable networks and broadcast television businesses were both by lower advertising revenue. The filmed entertainment business was impacted by lower theatrical revenue but reported a 19.5% increase in content licensing revenue due to films including “Trolls World Tour” being released on premium video-on-demand platforms.
Peacock, the company’s new ad-supported platform, launched in the third quarter so its impact on advertising and subscription revenues hasn’t been reported yet. However, Comcast said the service has already attracted 10 million sign-ups to date.