Leichtman: Telcos, cable companies added 2.6M broadband subs in 2013 but cable dominates the market

Big telephone and cable companies both added multiples of new broadband subscribers in 2013 but, in the end, the cable companies were the big winners because 82 percent of those new subs lined up on the cable side of the equation, data from the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) indicates.

According to the marketing research firm, the top 17 cable and telephone providers in the U.S. acquired 2.6 million net additional broadband subs with cable companies adding 82 percent of the new additions--2.161 million subs--and big telcos following with 477,189.

The 17 companies in the survey, LRG said, represent about 93 percent of the market. The net broadband additions were 95 percent of the total gained in 2012 but bring the totals for the industries to 49.3 million cable broadband subs and 35 million telco broadband subs.

Telcos are pushing their subscribers off DSL and onto fiber-based broadband as a way to catch up with cable operators in speed. On the other hand, new fiber subscribers are generally old DSL subscribers so there is a process of subtraction and addition.

Indicating the difficult road ahead for telcos, the research also pointed out that AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) added 3.3 million fiber-based broadband subscribers but lost 3.05 million DSL subs.

Not surprisingly, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) led the way among all service providers by adding 1.296 million broadband subs during the year. Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), which has been aggressively courting new broadband subs, had the second highest gain at 371,000. The top telco, Verizon, gained 220,000 new broadband subs, followed by Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) (211,000), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) (140,000) and Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR) (112,000) as other carriers with six-figure additions. Only Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), which lost 43,600 subs, came in with red figures, the Leichtman research indicated.

For more:
- Leichtman Research Group issued this press release

Related articles:
AT&T extends one year of free 6 Mbps U-verse broadband to Missouri-based SMBs
Bell Aliant spends $4.3M to bring FTTH service to three new Newfoundland, Labrador locations
RCN doubles upload speeds for broadband customers