During an earnings conference call on Monday, Comcast President Brian Roberts offered further proof of the transformative impact of broadband upon the U.S. cable industry as he confirmed that broadband subscribers have surpassed his company’s multichannel video service customer count for the first time.
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, also ranks as the largest provider of broadband services in the U.S. While smaller cable providers have also reported broadband subscriber bases that now exceed their video service tally, the addition of Comcast to the list of multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) to reflect this trend represents strong evidence of the development of the Internet into an alternative platform for a variety of services that include online video streaming services.
Although subscriber counts for Comcast’s broadband and video services stood equal at 22.4 million each at the end of March, Roberts told analysts that broadband subscribership has since exceeded the company’s video customer tally during the current quarter. During the first quarter, Comcast added 407,000 broadband subscribers to its rolls—the most since early 2013—while shedding 8,000 video customers. As first quarter revenues from video services rose by three percent to $5.3 billion, broadband revenues jumped by 10.7% to $3 billion. Revenues for Comcast’s NBCUniversal media and entertainment unit, meanwhile, dropped by four percent during the first quarter. At the same time, the company as a whole posted $2 billion in first quarter profits which represents a ten percent increase over the same period last year.