Comcast’s Jenckes: HSD growth ‘still has a long runway’ with 6M DSL customers up for grabs


Having added another 220,000 high-speed internet subscribers in the second quarter and swelling its industry-leading customer base to nearly 24 million, Comcast is telling investors it will probably keep on expanding in the near-term future. 

Around 70 to 75 percent of U.S. homes have high-speed internet, and that’s only going to get bigger,” said Marcien Jenckes, executive VP of consumer services for Comcast Cable, speaking today at Nomura’s 2016 Media, Telecom & Internet Conference.

With 6 million DSL subscribers residing in Comcast’s footprint, he added, the MSO “still has a long runway” to sustain its rapid customer growth. 

Comcast and the cable industry are coming off their best quarter for subscriber growth in more than a decade, collectively adding 550,000 broadband users in the second quarter amid record losses for rival telephone companies.

Asked about the recent retreat of another rival, Google Fiber, Jenckes said the upstart rival’s growth “has been slower than what a lot of people initially anticipated."

“We’re very good competitors,” he said. “We’re not going to roll over. We have very competitive products, and we’re going to compete very hard for share. That may have surprised some people.”

Speaking on a wide range of topics, Jenckes said the merger between Comcast and NBCUniversal has been beneficial to the entire pay-TV industry, with Comcast able to conduct experiments that other non-vertically integrated companies can’t.

He noted the evolution of on-demand series stacking — Comcast now has stacking rights to more than 700 TV series, he said. 

A few years ago, he said, “We’d show up and say we want full season stacking rights. And they would look at us and say, ’It just doesn’t work that way.’”

Working with NBCUniversal, Jenckes added, Comcast as able to show the audience and monetization potential of VOD.

“Everybody is afraid of being the patsy, of making a mistake, and that creates a certain level of paralysis,” he said. “Through our relationship with NBCUniversal, we’ve been able to debunk some of the fears.”

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