Verizon widened its pay TV subscriber losses during the fourth quarter of 2018 even as the company is rolling out a new updated pay TV service platform.
During the quarter, Verizon gave back 46,000 Fios video subscribers, up from the 29,000 video subscribers the company lost during the year-ago quarter. The company attributed the loss to consumers shifting from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. Verizon ended 2018 with 4.5 million Fios video subscribers.
While Verizon’s total wireline revenues decreased 3.2% year over year to $7.4 billion, the company’s total Fios revenues grew 2.5% year over year thanks to an increase in Fios internet connections.
The continued decline in traditional video subscribers for Verizon come as the company is shifting much of its focus toward its network—5G in particular. The company has begun rolling out in-home 5G wireless broadband and has partnered with YouTube TV and Apple TV to offer its early 5G customers options for streaming video and watching live television.
But that’s not to say that Verizon has given up on its Fios TV business. In December, the company announced a major update to the Fios TV platform, dubbed Fios TV One.
The update includes the addition of a voice remote—which will allow Fios subscribers to change the channel, search for video-on-demand programming and control their DVRs with voice commands—and integration of Netflix. The new TV One platform is also getting a Wi-Fi Connectivity feature and 4K Ultra HD support. The Wi-Fi Connectivity feature will allow Fios users to place TVs away from coax outlets and connect extra Fios set-top boxes wirelessly to the TV through the Wi-Fi network.
Verizon’s Fios TV One was initially available in the Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, New York City, upstate New York, Massachusetts and Richmond, Virginia, markets. The company said it will come to all remaining Fios markets throughout December and January.
During the fourth quarter, the Verizon Media Group (formerly known as Oath) continued its recent downward trend. The group’s quarterly revenues totaled $2.1 billion, down 5.8% year over year, although the group did see a sequential increase in revenue thanks to increase advertising.