The cable cut caused another gap in the legacy TV business in the first quarter of 2022, with 1.95 million people heading for outlets among the major providers. Many of those same companies continued to add broadband subscribers, with 1.065 million registered in the first quarter.
These findings come from the two most recent quarterly surveys by Leichtman Research Group, a Durham, NH, consulting firm that tracks subscriber totals among the largest publicly traded and private firms in those fields. ad(Opens in a new window) the television numbers on Tuesday and published(Opens in a new window) broadband figures today.
Leichtman’s TV subscription data shows that Comcast, the largest provider, once again lost the most customers, with 512,000 cutting cord in the first quarter to leave it with 17.664 million in total. The two satellite television services, DirecTV and Dish Network, experienced the largest loss of subscribers after that; the former lost roughly 300,000 subscribers to end the quarter with 14.3 million, while the latter’s loss of 228,000 subscribers left it with 7.993 million.
(Leichtman calculates his own estimates for private companies like DirecTV, starting with figures from publicly traded companies’ quarterly earnings statements.)
Unlike Leichtman’s full-year 2021 report, streaming video services saw no compensating gains. Hulu + Live TV lost 200,000 subscribers to drop to 4.1 million total (its late-2021 fee hike couldn’t have helped) and Sling TV lost 234,000 to end the quarter at 2.252 million. However, Leichtman made no attempt to estimate the number of YouTube TV or Philo subscribers, saying in a footnote that “neither report results regularly”.
Among broadband providers, Comcast was the biggest gainer, adding 262,000 to reach 32.163 million, nearly double its TV total. The second largest cable company, Charter, had 185,000 new subscriptions, bringing its total to 30.274 million. The third-place entry, however, came from a non-cable company: Leichtman found that Verizon signed up 35,000 new customers and now has 7.4 million cable broadband subscribers.
But those increases look pretty modest next to the numbers in a new category in Leichtman’s broadband statistics: fixed wireless. There, he discovered that T-Mobile and Verizon each gained more subscribers than any other cable broadband service. T-Mobile added 338,000 to reach a total of 984,000 for its mostly 5G-based home broadband, while Verizon added 194,000 to reach a total of 433,000 for a service that relied mostly on LTE until the launch of C-band in January.
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“Fixed wireless services accounted for half of broadband net additions in 1Q 2022, compared to approximately 10% of net additions in 1Q 2021,” Leichtman Chairman Bruce Leichtman said in the release. company press.
If those trends continue — a reasonable prospect, considering what Verizon’s C-band launch has since done for its 5G coverage and speed — the narrative in previous Leichtman reports that cable continues to crush everyone else may be. online for a rewrite.
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