U.S. cable and telco broadband subscribers up 1,165,000 in 1Q 2020

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 
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About 1,165,000 Added Broadband in 1Q 2020

  • The Most Quarterly Broadband Additions Since 1Q 2015

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest cable and telephone providers in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 1,165,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 1Q 2020, compared to a pro forma gain of about 955,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019.

These top broadband providers now account for about 102.4 million subscribers, with top cable companies having 69.2 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having 33.2 million subscribers.

Findings for the quarter include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 1Q 2020 were 122% of those in 1Q 2019
    • Broadband additions overall were the most in any quarter since 1Q 2015
  • The top cable companies added about 1,230,000 subscribers in 1Q 2020 – 132% of the net adds for the top cable companies in 1Q 2019
    • Cable broadband net additions were the most in any quarter since 1Q 2007
  • The top wireline phone companies had a net loss of about 65,000 subscribers in 1Q 2020 – compared to a net gain of about 20,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019
  • Over the past year, there were about 2,750,000 net broadband adds – compared to about 2,635,000 net broadband adds over the prior year

“With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there were more quarterly net broadband additions in 1Q 2020 than in any quarter in five years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Top cable companies performed particularly well, having the most net additions for cable broadband services in any quarter in thirteen years.”

                          Subscribers at    Net Adds
Broadband Providers       end of 1Q 2020  in 1Q 2020
------------------------  --------------  ----------
Cable Companies          
 Comcast                      29,106,000     477,000
 Charter*                     27,246,000     582,000
 Cox**                         5,230,000      60,000
 Altice                        4,237,400      50,100
 Mediacom                      1,349,000      21,000
 WOW (WideOpenWest)              797,600      16,100
 Cable One                       793,000      20,000
 Atlantic Broadband              457,233       5,770
Total Top Cable               69,216,233   1,231,970

Wireline Phone Companies          
 AT&T                         15,315,000    (74,000)
 Verizon                       6,982,000      26,000
 CenturyLink                   4,667,000    (11,000)
 Frontier                      3,480,000    (33,000)
 Windstream                    1,067,300      18,000
 Consolidated                    786,125       1,960
 TDS^                            460,000       4,800
 Cincinnati Bell                 427,500       1,800
Total Top Telco               33,184,925    (65,440)
------------------------  --------------  ----------
Total Top Broadband          102,401,158   1,166,530

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Charter’s 1Q 2020 results include about 120,000 net adds with 60-day free service related to the impact of COVID-19
** LRG estimate
^ TDS includes 263,200 wireline broadband subscribers, and 196,800 cable broadband subscribers
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top cable and telephone companies represent approximately 96% of all subscribers

Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and the addition of new providers to the list – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings

Links: Leichtman Research