Cable broadband subscribers surpass cable TV subscribers in U.S.

Friday, August 15th, 2014
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About 385,000 add broadband in the second quarter of 2014

  • Cable Broadband Subscribers Surpass Cable TV Subscribers

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the seventeen largest cable and telephone providers in the US — representing about 93% of the market — acquired nearly 385,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the second quarter of 2014. These top broadband providers now account for over 85.9 million subscribers — with top cable companies having nearly 50.7 million broadband subscribers, and top telephone companies having over 35.2 million subscribers.

Other broadband findings include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2014 amounted to 130% of those in 2Q 2013
  • The top cable companies accounted for 99% of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies
  • The top cable companies added about 380,000 subscribers, representing 128% of the net additions for the top cable companies in 2Q 2013
  • For the top cable providers (not including overbuilder WOW), the number of broadband subscribers exceeded the number of cable TV subscribers for the first time ever — with about 49,915,000 broadband subscribers at the end of 2Q 2014, compared to about 49,910,000 cable TV subscribers
  • The top telephone companies added about 2,000 broadband subscribers in 2Q 2014 — compared to a loss of about 2,000 in 2Q 2013
  • AT&T and Verizon added 627,000 subscribers via U-verse and FiOS in 2Q 2014, while having a net loss of 636,000 DSL subscribers
  • The top cable broadband providers have a 59% share of the market versus the top Telcos

“With the addition of more than 30 million broadband subscribers over the past decade, cable providers have clearly expanded well beyond their roots in cable TV service,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “As of the end of 2Q 2014, the top cable providers now have more broadband subscribers than cable TV subscribers.”

                                        Subscribers at  Net Adds in
Broadband Internet                      End of 2Q 2014      2Q 2014
--------------------------------------  --------------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                                    21,271,000     203,000
 Time Warner*                               11,965,000      86,000
 Charter                                     4,850,000      62,000
 Cablevision                                 2,779,000      (9,000)
 Suddenlink                                  1,103,300         200
 Mediacom                                      987,000       3,000
 WOW (WideOpenWest)**                          769,600      12,900
 Cable ONE                                     482,725      (1,443)
 Other Major Private Cable Companies***      6,475,000      25,000
  Total Top Cable                           50,682,625     381,657

Telephone Companies
 AT&T                                       16,448,000     (55,000)
 Verizon                                     9,077,000      46,000
 CenturyLink                                 6,055,000      (2,000)
 Frontier^                                   1,900,500      27,500
 Windstream                                  1,153,800     (16,600)
 FairPoint                                     333,421       1,883
 Cincinnati Bell                               270,300         300
  Total Top Telephone Companies             35,238,021       2,083

Total Broadband                             85,920,646     383,740

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Subscriber totals slightly adjusted from prior quarters
** Includes a minor system acquisition, net adds are not reported on a pro forma basis
*** Includes LRG estimates for Cox, and Bright House Networks
^ LRG estimate, does not include wireless subscribers
Company subscriber counts may not represent solely residential households
Totals reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions