Comcast lost 477,000 cable customers in Q2 2020

Polycount

Posts: 2,470   +549
Staff member
In context: The cable TV industry isn't performing very well amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. AT&T lost an astounding 900,000 cable subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, and now, Comcast has reported significant losses of its own for Q2.

In an earnings report published today, Comcast claimed that it lost 477,000 pay-TV subscribers over the past three months. That number isn't nearly as significant as AT&T's losses, but it's still not an easy blow for Comcast to ignore, especially since the company's quarterly cable TV losses only seem to be growing.

In Q1 2020, roughly 409,000 subscribers pulled the plug on their Comcast-provided cable subscriptions -- this last quarter, the corporate giant managed to lose substantially more.

If these losses continue to grow at this rate, Comcast may be on track to lose twice as many cable subscribers this year as it did last year. For reference, the company took a hit of around 733,000 cable subscribers in 2019, and it has already dropped significantly more than that (around 886,000 customers) in 2020.

There are plenty of reasons for these mass subscriber losses, but Covid-19 is likely chief among them. Thousands of Americans have lost their jobs due to coronavirus complications (including business shutdowns). Even many who haven't are now working from home, giving them more free time to explore alternatives to cable TV, such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others.

Comcast may be suffering in the cable arena, but its internet business is performing quite well. It managed to snag around 323,000 additional broadband customers in Q2 2020: the "best second quarter high-speed internet net adds in 13 years," according to the company.

It remains to be seen whether Comcast's cable TV business will bounce back as the world begins to recover from Covid-19, but we'll keep you updated on the situation moving forward.

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Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,526   +553
I use Comcast for Internet only, dropped the cable package when it was just getting ridiculously expensive for nothing but crap, and found myself streaming Netflix and Hulu more than watching TV anyhow. Helped that we bought a Roku TV, that made the push away from cable easier.

Now Comcast / Xfinity has the "Flex" box that's free to their customers (1 box, at least), including just internet users, and it's basically their attempt at a Roku / FireTV killer. We got the free box just to check out the new Peacock network, a few shows coming on there exclusively that the wife wants to see. So far not really impressed with the Flex platform - it's just another annoying remote to keep track of, the only real exclusive thing that I can see on it that my Roku products can't do is Peacock network, and the commercials in the free Flex content are horrible - they just cut out of programming mid-sentence, often mid-word, no finesse at all.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 45   +48
I love how I had Comcast for 14-15 years now, only did cable modem through them. My cable modem speed was 70-80mb/s for the past 5 years or so.

One day, about 3 years ago now, I get a letter from Xfinity/Comcast about how my $49.95 cable modem payment hasn't been charging me for using their modem. They weren't going to back charge me the past few years, but the next billing cycle they were going to charge me $10 extra a month to "rent" their modem.

Screw that. I purchase a better modem than the one they have in my place and I contact them to setup my own personal modem. I go through the whole process and I return their hardware.

Next billing cycle happens and my bill is now $69.95. WTF?

I contact them and ask why my pricing went up $20. I purchased my own modem, returned their modem to one of their local shops and I even have the return slip verifying my transaction upon returning their modem....so why has my price gone up $20? I was told I "renegotiated" my contract with them upon no longer using their equipment and I was put on a new contract. I was livid. I spoke with a handful of people and called them all sorts of names under the sun about how I was never told about the price change....but the ****ers never reverted me back to my previous pay level. The hiked price didn't even include better speeds. So, same speeds with my own modem and it now costs an extra $20 a month.

Then of course every year your "contract" expires and the "new" price jumps by 20-25%. So you have to call and "negotiate" new terms - which is a damn joke.

My last call to Comcast/Xfinity was about a month back now. My most recent contract expired and my cost went up from $60 to $90. I called to have some stupid TV service I never used removed from my account. It took me over 25 minutes to get the TV service removed. The lady on the other end of the phone kept asking me to switch over to other plans that cost more for TV....TV! I was calling to remove the TV service tied to my plan and she's trying to upsell me other useless crappy TV packages.

For now, my current cable modem is costing me around $60 after taxes/fees. Here's hoping it doesn't change because Xfinity/Comcasts decides they need to be asses and screw people over again.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 400   +275
I love how I had Comcast for 14-15 years now, only did cable modem through them. My cable modem speed was 70-80mb/s for the past 5 years or so.

One day, about 3 years ago now, I get a letter from Xfinity/Comcast about how my $49.95 cable modem payment hasn't been charging me for using their modem. They weren't going to back charge me the past few years, but the next billing cycle they were going to charge me $10 extra a month to "rent" their modem.

Screw that. I purchase a better modem than the one they have in my place and I contact them to setup my own personal modem. I go through the whole process and I return their hardware.

Next billing cycle happens and my bill is now $69.95. WTF?

I contact them and ask why my pricing went up $20. I purchased my own modem, returned their modem to one of their local shops and I even have the return slip verifying my transaction upon returning their modem....so why has my price gone up $20? I was told I "renegotiated" my contract with them upon no longer using their equipment and I was put on a new contract. I was livid. I spoke with a handful of people and called them all sorts of names under the sun about how I was never told about the price change....but the ****ers never reverted me back to my previous pay level. The hiked price didn't even include better speeds. So, same speeds with my own modem and it now costs an extra $20 a month.

Then of course every year your "contract" expires and the "new" price jumps by 20-25%. So you have to call and "negotiate" new terms - which is a damn joke.

My last call to Comcast/Xfinity was about a month back now. My most recent contract expired and my cost went up from $60 to $90. I called to have some stupid TV service I never used removed from my account. It took me over 25 minutes to get the TV service removed. The lady on the other end of the phone kept asking me to switch over to other plans that cost more for TV....TV! I was calling to remove the TV service tied to my plan and she's trying to upsell me other useless crappy TV packages.

For now, my current cable modem is costing me around $60 after taxes/fees. Here's hoping it doesn't change because Xfinity/Comcasts decides they need to be asses and screw people over again.
Thank the GOP lead FCC, who refused to end the "renting" scheme these companies use even when you provide your own modem/router.
 

seeprime

Posts: 469   +496
Thank the GOP lead FCC, who refused to end the "renting" scheme these companies use even when you provide your own modem/router.
I prefer to blame the Bush administration and also the Obama administration for not giving a rats *** about cable pricing methods. The current administration may be more technically ignorant, but they didn't start cable's hidden pricing jump BS.
 
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DZillaXx

Posts: 62   +78
I don't know many young people that still watch or even have cable TV. It is such as crappy service for what is on it, as well as all the commercials. Sadly it really is the best way to get sports. Luckily for me I just the cable login from my mother in law to get fox sports/etc. I've never had a problem watching sport games from a stream other than not getting DD Surround.

Depending on your taste in entertainment TV tends to not offer much. Hulu, Netflix, Prime, etc adds up to having a lot more content you'd rather just watch instead of being told what to watch with commercials added in.

I don't normally have a lot of time for TV, but me and the wife try to get a single episode of our show in before I head off to bed. That doesn't always happen. Cable TV is for us young folk.

Sometimes TV+Internet packages come in for a decent price, like Charter or Uverse with the combo being around $120 for a year. But Charter's cable hardware is literally the same equipment they were using 10 years ago. And UVerse DSL is slow compared to cable. It all just sucks... But these deals are about the same as going with something like HuluTV/Youtube TV/Sling + Internet. And it doesn't eat into your internet bandwidth. But having to re sign up every year is annoying.

This is good. Cable companies need to learn. They need to revamp their hardware and switch to a more streaming service like setup. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to pull up streaming apps. And no reason why you should be forced to watch TV by time schedules. Make Cable boxes beefed up digital media boxes, where you can browse each networks large collection of content. All the ondamand/sreaming app content should be face forward. They can keep some live time streamed channels. For the older folk
 
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HyperPete

Posts: 93   +41
After my current contract is finished, I am dumping the TV and phone and just going with internet. I can get their cable channels with my Roku sticks, anyway.

Screw them. I hope their cable monopoly is broken up the way Bell Telephone was.