Should We Still Call Them Cable Companies?

For the first time ever, at the end of the first quarter, the biggest traditional cable operator in the U.S. -- Comcast -- now says it has more Internet customers than video customers:22.369 million for high-speed broadband to 22.375 million for video.

So should we still call Comcast and others  “cable” companies? It depends how  you define “cable.”

All this speaks directly to those “cord-cutters” or potential “cord-cutters” -- those who think that one only needs an Internet connection to get by.  But there is still another piper to pay -- and actually, it’s probably the same company.

Cablevision Systems even has a “cord-cutter” product: a package including broadband service and a TV digital antenna.

You know, if you hate hamburgers, you can still get a salad at McDonald’s. Or a latte. If you think about cable as a “utility,” think about those with solar panels on their home, looking to lower  electrical bills. Power companies aren’t all that happy about this.



But the real story isn’t in those video subscriber/broadband numbers. That’s because Comcast still gets 75% more revenue from its video subscribers than from its high-speed broadband subscribers -- $5.331 billion, versus $3.044 billion in the first quarter of this year.

What we do know, of course, is where this is going. We are using increasingly more digital services. Now, when those numbers change, when high-speed Internet revenue is the main driver for a company like Comcast, then you should could change your descriptor of the company.

Legend has it cable network pioneer Ted Turner was believed to be the main proponent of using the simpler word “cable” to describe the budding business in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, instead of the more cumbersome CATV, which stood for Community Access Television or Community Antenna Television.

In the future, you can bet cable companies would just like to be known as a “communications” or “media” company.

2 comments about "Should We Still Call Them Cable Companies?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Suzanne Sell from Independent, May 7, 2015 at 2:56 p.m.

    UM... 2.369M is less than 2.375M.

  2. Linda Moskal from WNPV Radio, May 7, 2015 at 4:09 p.m.

    Thanks, Suzanne, I was going to be curmudgeon that pointed that out!  

Next story loading loading..