Comcast takes video hit, but adds telephony subs

Is video becoming a point of market weakness for cable TV companies? That could be the case if we decide to invest in the trend suggested by Comcast's first quarter 2008 earnings report last week. The company said that it lost 57,000 basic video subscribers during the quarter, and even though it added about 494,000 digital video customers, the latter number was observed to be less than some analyst estimates, according to The Wall Street Journal. Comcast also saw its first-quarter profit dip about 12.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Still, it remains to be seen if video softness is an industry-wide trend. Time Warner Cable had said previously that it added both basic video and digital video customers during the quarter, and at least met estimates in both areas.

Meanwhile, Comcast added 639,000 digital telephony subscribers during the first quarter and almost half a million broadband Internet customers. Comcast now has about 5.1 million voice customers, and seems to be one of the chief beneficiaries of telco landline loss, but its ability to steal voice customers from telcos is not impressive enough to cover the higher-value video customers it is losing to the telcos.

For more:
- see this report at The Wall Street Journal
- read this blog post at ZDNet.com
- check out this follow-up at GigaOM

Related articles:
Comcast reported a profit jump in Q4 2007 Comcast report  
Is Comcast planning a wireless network? Comcast report

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