Comcast will register video subscriber losses of around 6,000 for the third quarter, Jefferies analyst Mike McCormack predicts.
Such a loss would be a marked improvement over the 48,000 hemorrhaged in the third quarter of 2015 — which was actually Comcast’s best third-quarter pay-TV subscriber performance in a decade.
But sequentially, it might be seen as halting the recent customer momentum generated by the company’s popular X1 video platform.
Notably, the MSO lost only 4,000 customers in the second quarter, which is traditionally the weakest for pay-TV operators.
“Consensus of a loss of 6,000 subscribers suggests little/no sequential improvement in what is traditionally a seasonally stronger quarter,” McCormack said in his note to investors today.
Comcast will report third-quarter earnings on October 26.
Happily for Comcast, the analyst predicts high-speed internet subscriber gains of 345,000 for the third quarter, above Wall Street consensus forecasts of around 320,000.
McCormack sees revenue growing by around 6.9 percent from Comcast’s overall cable business — just below consensus forecasts of 7.1 percent.
The analysts said other parts of Comcast’s business are harder to predict — notably, the portion of the NBCUniversal operation that deals with the Rio Olympics, which underperformed in the audience ratings.
“The Olympics is likely to drive volatility in estimates, particularly given the impact on both cable nets and broadcast, as well as within advertising and distribution,” he said.