Comcast sees voice sign-ups boom, profit fall

Comcast added 639,000 digital telephony subscribers during the first quarter and almost half a million broadband Internet customers, but that may not be enough to offset a fresh round of concerns about the competitive impact Comcast is feeling from telcos on the video side of its business. The cable TV company said in its first-quarter earnings report today that it lost 57,000 basic video subscribers during the quarter, and added about 494,000 digital video customers, a figure less than some analyst estimates, according to The Wall Street Journal. Comcast also saw its first-quarter profit dip about 12.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Comcast now has about 5.1 million voice customers, and seems to be one of the chief beneficiaries of telco landline loss, but its ability to steal voice customers from telcos is not impressive enough to cover the higher-value video customers it is losing to the telcos. Larry Dignan at ZDNet points out that telcos also have more service businesses and revenue channels that can help them keep their strength up during this period of maybe-recession. Still, Om Malik at GigaOM adds that Comcast's Internet gains are pretty good for a company accused of traffic-shaping.

For more:
- see this report at The Wall Street Journal
- read this blog post at ZDNet.com
-
check out this follow-up at GigaOM

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