Cablers Gain Broadband Subs; Live Video Viewing Rises for Pay-TV Operators

Broadband is a thriving business for cable operators. Top cablers added more than 500,000 new broadband customers in the second quarter, an increase that is likely due in part to the continuing rise of video viewing via high-speed connections.

On the flip side, telecos lost broadband customers. Leichtman Research Group reported that the 17 largest multichannel video providers, comprising 94% of the market, added 360,000 new high-speed Internet customers in the second quarter. Telephone companies lost about 150,000 subscribers during that time, leaving cable companies with the half-million gain.

In the past year, cable operators have accounted for 95% of the three million new broadband customers, the firm said.

In related news, about 10% of broadband homes say they want to increase to even faster high-speed services in the next year, according to a study from Parks Associates. Meanwhile, about 11% of pay TV homes downgraded their pay-TV service in the last year, about even with those who upgraded.

Nonetheless, Parks also found that overall pay-TV penetration among homes with broadband has dipped from 87% in 2011 to 85% this year.
These figures seem to underscore the role that high-speed broadband services now play for cable operators and for consumers. Increasingly, broadband is becoming the must-have service, both for Internet, but also as a way to deliver video content in new ways to homes.

Live video viewing is playing a role in overall video streaming growth. Live viewing rose 146% in the second quarter from a year ago, said FreeWheel in its just-released report. The report also said that two-thirds of ad views from broadcast and cable networks as well as pay-TV operators came from long-form programming and live video programming.

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