U.S. Broadband Subs now Outnumber Pay TV Subs

According to the Leichtman Research Group, broadband subscribers now outnumber pay TV subscribers in the United States, led by cable ...

Broadband growth slowing, cable still leads
Broadband growth slowing, cable still leads

According to the Leichtman Research Group, broadband subscribers now outnumber pay TV subscribers in the United States, led by cable broadband additions. The research house says the 14 largest cable and telephone providers in the country - representing about 95% of the market - acquired about 960,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the first quarter of 2017.

The top broadband providers now account for 93.9 million Internet subscribers, with top cable companies having 59.4 million broadband subscribers and top telcos having 34.5 million. The top pay TV providers in the country account for 93.3 million video subscribers according to 1Q data released by LRG yesterday.

Findings for the quarter indicate:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 1Q 2017 were 85% of those in 1Q 2016.
  • The top cable companies added about 1 million subscribers in 1Q 2017, 90% of the net additions for the top cable companies in 1Q 2016.
  • The top telcos lost about 45,000 subscribers in 1Q 2017, compared to a gain of about 10,000 broadband subscribers in 1Q 2016. Telcos have had net broadband losses in seven of the past eight quarters.
  • Over the past year, there were about 2,530,000 net broadband adds, compared to about 3,035,000 over the prior year.

"With the addition of nearly 1 million subscribers in the quarter, the top cable and telco broadband providers in the U.S. cumulatively now account for over 93.9 million subscribers in the U.S.," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "In the first quarter of 2017, the number of broadband subscribers surpassed the number of pay TV subscribers in the U.S."

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