Skip to main content

Comcast did great last year by only losing 36,000 TV subscribers

Comcast did great last year by only losing 36,000 TV subscribers


That's the best its done in nine years

Share this story

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

TV is picking back up. Earlier this week, Time Warner Cable said that it was gaining new TV subscribers for the first time in almost a decade, and this morning, Comcast is announcing some relatively bright video results of its own. During the final quarter of 2015, Comcast had a net addition of 89,000 video subscribers — the best it's done in eight years. That wasn't enough to offset subscriber losses elsewhere in the year, but Comcast's total net subscriber loss for 2015, of 36,000, is still the best result it's seen in nine years and a huge improvement from 2014's loss of 194,000 subscribers. That means both Comcast and Time Warner Cable hit nine-year highs, thanks to an uptick in video subscribers and slowing subscriber losses.

Broadband continues growing much faster than video

Of course, high-speed internet is still a much bigger area of growth for Comcast. It added 460,000 broadband subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2015 — a nine-year high for the quarter. Comcast also set an eight-year high for net broadband subscriber additions in 2015, with a total of 1.4 million. Video revenue is still much larger for Comcast — at $5.4 billion for the quarter, versus almost $3.2 billion for broadband — but internet revenue is growing faster, with a year-over-year increase of 9.8 percent, while video only grew by 4.4 percent. Comcast's revenue for the quarter was $11.9 billion, up from $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. Those figures are much higher if you include NBCUniversal, bringing the quarter's total to $19.2 billion, up from $17.7 billion the prior year.

NBCUniversal, which Comcast has owned for five years now, is also up overall, with fourth quarter 2015 revenues of $7.4 billion, up from $6.6 billion. That's a 13 percent revenue increase, but some of it is due to the company's acquisition of the Universal Studios Japan theme park; without it, revenue growth is at only 10.5 percent. While NBCUniversal's cable networks and broadcast TV business both continue to grow slowly, the company saw the largest revenue increases from movies and theme parks. For movies, it attributes the growth to strong home media sales of Minions and Jurassic World. For theme parks, it says attendance is up thanks in part to its Harry Potter attraction and a Fast and Furious ride.

Disclosure: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.