Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers


Verizon, AT&T Benefit as Customers Give Up Cable—but Not TV

Verizon, AT&T Benefit as Customers Give Up Cable—but Not TV

Photograph by Getty Images

There’s a zombie apocalypse on cable this morning: a new report from Leichtman Research showing crowds of U.S. subscribers disappearing and lurching to life elsewhere.

In the past quarter, major cable providers lost 264,000 customers, about 0.5 percent of their base, according to Leichtman, a New Hampshire-based media-research firm. That brings the decline to 3.2 percent over the past 12 months, the first year-long period of net losses for the cable companies in at least a decade.

Some of those folks are cobbling together their couch time with rabbit ears, Roku, Apple TV (AAPL), Hulu, and Netflix (NFLX). But in the aggregate, the numbers don’t show straight cord-cutting; rather, what’s evident is a shift to competing technologies. Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), for example, together added 1.3 million video customers in the past year, a 12 percent increase, according to the report. Satellite-based services DirecTV (DTV) and Dish Network (DISH) had small gains as well.

Cable executives have been watching this bloodletting for some time. If anything, the new data suggest how important it is for media companies to make money in a number of different ways. From that perspective, it’s no surprise that a company such as Time Warner (TWC), which saw almost 5 percent of its cable subscribers disappear in the past 12 months, is weighing a stake in Hulu.

Comcast (CMCSA) already has a Hulu stake and gets almost 40 percent of its revenue from NBCUniversal.

Consumers these days are samplers—spreading their entertainment investments all over the place. Savvy TV executives are starting to do the same.

Stock is an associate editor for Twitter: @kylestock

blog comments powered by Disqus