The migration of consumers from video to broadband viewing, and the subsequent change in subscriber numbers in different segments of providers' quarterly reports, is telling: cable operators are losing video subscribers, slowly but steadily.
But the raw numbers may not tell the whole story. Why are customers dropping traditional cable subscriptions? What role does the growth of high-speed broadband play in the numbers change? And are cablecos really losing customers, or are those subscribers simply shifting into the broadband segment?
Editors Jim O'Neill, Sean Buckley, and Steve Donohue take a closer look at the subscriber numbers issue, what those numbers mean for telcos offering broadband and IPTV services, and where cable MSOs really stand financially as their video subscriptions drop.
Jim O'Neill: In the battle for pay-TV subscribers, IPTV beats cable, satellite; but the economy casts doubt over all
A year ago, the headlines focused on the number of U.S. multichannel subscribers dropping for the second straight quarter, down 119,000 after a drop of 216,000 a quarter earlier. What is the bright spot that kept those numbers from turning into a complete rout? Read on...
Sean Buckley: Service integration is key to telco broadband subscriber gains
When CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Qwest this past April, one of the glaring shortcomings that emerged in its Q2 2011 earnings report was a drop in broadband subscribers. How are CenturyLink and other telcos slowing that broadband churn? Read on...
Steve Donohue: Cable operators can still thrive while losing basic video customers
Since the industry's inception, the strength of a cable operator was determined by the number of basic cable customers it counted. But a decade ago, MSOs changed that measurement. Did they foresee the importance that high-speed Internet and voice would have to their bottom line in 2011? Read on...
Infographic: Click here for a detailed view of subscriber numbers.