Commentary

Broadband Adds Subscribers As HDTV Owners Increase

According to the  Leichtman Research Group, the twenty largest cable and telephone providers in the US,  representing about 94% of the market, acquired approximately 1.3 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the third quarter of 2008. These top broadband providers now account for nearly 66.7 million subscribers. Cable companies have 36.5 million broadband subscribers, and telephone companies have about 30.2 million subscribers.

Other broadband findings for the quarter include:

  • The top cable companies added over 870,000 subscribers, representing 67% of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies
  • Overall, broadband additions in 3Q 2008 amounted to 61% of those in 3Q 2007, with cable having 82% as many additions as a year ago, and Telcos 40%
  • The top cable broadband providers have a 55% share of the overall market, with a 6.3 million subscriber advantage over the top telephone companies

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Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, Inc., said "Over the past two quarters the top cable providers accounted for 71% of the net broadband additions... cable's recent success... is more a function of the telcos' shift in focus towards higher value subscribers while cable has been... marketing broadband as part of its nearly ubiquitously available Triple Play bundles."

Cable & Telephone Internet Providers

Broadband Internet Provider

Subscribers at End of 3Q 2008

Net Adds in 3Q 2008

Cable Companies

   Comcast

14,738,000

381,000

   Time Warner

8,634,000

222,000

   Cox

3,945,000

60,000

   Charter

2,858,200

70,900

   Cablevision

2,427,000

32,000

   Mediacom

726,000

24,000

   Insight

445,100

20,500

   Cable ONE

368,614

7,345

   RCN

301,000

6,000

   Other Major Private Cable Companies

2,050,000

50,000

Total Top Cable

36,492,914

873,745

Telephone Companies

   AT&T

14,841,000

148,000

   Verizon

8,459,000

129,000

   Qwest

2,793,000

61,000

   Embarq

1,388,000

24,000

   Windstream

962,700

28,400

   CenturyTel

628,000

21,000

   Frontier

571,946

12,646

   FairPoint

294,134

(278)

   Cincinnati Bell

231,100

2,100

Total Top Telephone Companies

30,168,880

425,868

Total Broadband

66,661,794

1,299,613

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

And, selections from a separate LRG study HDTV 2008:  Consumer Awareness, Interest and Ownership, show that 34% of U.S. households have at least one HDTV set, about double the percentage of households that had such TVs two years ago. Overall, 22% of all households purchased a new TV set in the past 12 months, with 43% of this group spending over $1,000 on a new TV.

LRG estimates that about 58% of all HD households are now watching HD programming from a multi-channel video provider, up from 53% last year.  However, about 18% of individuals with an HDTV continue to think that they are watching HD programming, but are not.

Other findings include:

  • 38% of HD owners say that replacing an old/broken set or wanting to buy a new TV set was the most important reason for getting their HDTV, compared to 22% citing picture quality, and 7% the quality of HD programming or the number of HD channels
  • 44% with annual household incomes over $50,000 have an HDTV compared to 20% with annual household incomes under $50,000
  • 33% of HDTV owners have more than one HDTV set, and 25% are likely to get another HDTV set in the next year
  • 9% of HD owners say that they switched multi-channel video providers when they purchased their HDTV
  • 42% of HDTV owners say that they were told how to receive HD programming when they purchased their set

For more information about the LRG Broadband study, please visit here, or about HDTV, visit here.

1 comment about "Broadband Adds Subscribers As HDTV Owners Increase ".
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  1. David Ricketts from N-A, January 6, 2009 at 10:44 a.m.

    Glad to see the headline got corrected on the website if not in the newsletter.

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