Until recently, telco-based linear video service operators Verizon Fios and AT&T U-verse were the primary growth drivers in the pay-TV sector. But with Verizon reporting 13,000 lost pay-TV subscriptions for its Fios service today, the turnaround has gone 360.
The loss compared to 36,000 Fios video gains in the first quarter of 2016. And coupled with the massive strategic downsizing of U-verse—which lost 1.36 million pay-TV subscribers last year as AT&T worked to consolidate its video business under the DirecTV banner—the telco video biz is in full retreat.
Last year, Fios was the only telco operator to report growth, a somewhat narrow gain of 59,000, as Frontier Communications (minus 255,000) also lost significant ground. Yet just five years ago, in 2012, Fios added 553,000 video users as the overall telco pay-TV sector expanded by nearly 1.3 million.
Fios also slowed down on the high-speed internet front, adding only 35,000 users compared to 98,000 in the first quarter of 2016. It was a tough first quarter all the way around for Verizon, which also posted a net loss of 289,000 postpaid phone customers.
Total consolidated operating revenues came in at $29.8 billion, marking a 7.3% year-over-year decrease and falling shy of Wells Fargo’s estimate of $29.9 billion. Total wireless revenue of $20.9 billion was short of the $21.1 billion predicted by Wells Fargo, and wireless service revenue of $15.8 billion was down 6.1% year over year, missing Wells Fargo’s estimate of $16 billion.
You can read more about the company’s overall first-quarter performance in this FierceWireless report from this morning.