Charter Loses 4.3% Of Q4 Video Subscribers, Cord-Cutting Continues Industrywide

Continuing and contributing to the industry’s steady decline, Charter Communications, one of biggest U.S. pay TV providers, lost 4.3% of its video costumers in fourth quarter -- down 145,000.

This was double the decline of same period a year before -- 71,000. Charter now has 15.2 million video customers.

Another major pay TV provider -- Comcast -- posted a 11.2% decline in video subscribers (440,000 customers) earlier this week.

Now with 92% of the publicly traded pay TV companies reporting their fourth-quarter results, Michael Morris, media analyst at Guggenheim Securities, writes that cord-cutting continues at a steady rate.

“Quarter-to-date, distributors have reported combined net video subscriber declines of 857,000, excluding virtual MVPDs, compared to 1.14 million in second quarter 2022 and 1.22 million fourth quarter 2021.”



He adds that over the past 12-month period, distributors have lost 8.4% of the subscribers (4.14 million subscribers). The industry lost 8.0% in the third quarter.

Those services yet to report are the virtual pay TV providers Hulu, YouTube TV, and fuboTV, which have historically been gaining share -- but typically not enough to reverse the effects of overall industry-wider cord-cutting.

Charter posted stronger results for its broadband business -- 3.9% higher in revenue to $5.6 billion -- and inched up 1.1% in subscribers (105,000) to now total 30.4 million internet subscribers.

Charter also had better results than Comcast the day before, which reported a 23,000 loss in residential broadband subscribers.

All this helped to maintain Charter’s average monthly residential bill -- at $114.20 a month, just slightly up 0.1% compared to the prior-year period.

Charter witnessed major growth revenue from mobile business, which was up 39% to $876 million, and advertising sales -- 24.6% higher to $558 million -- due to the midterm political advertising gains in the period.

Charter’s fourth-quarter revenue grew of $13.7 billion grew by 3.5% year-over-year.

However, net income attributable to Charter shareholders was down 26% to $1.2 billion, with the broader free cash flow metric sinking 50% to $1.1 billon.

Charter stock price was down 2.8% early morning on Friday to $399.08.

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