With most of Bell & Telus upgraded, Canadian cable broadband homes almost go negative. Glen Campbell of Merrill Lynch pointed me to CRTC data http://bit.ly/1voSz5q that showed the Canadian telcos beating the cablecos, who lost 1.3% of the market in 2013.  In the U.S., the results were the opposite, with cable picking up a point or two of market share. Telcos are beating cable in Canada, Britain and France. Cable is beating telcos in Germany and the U.S..

    The largest single factor is the % of homes upgraded by the telco. A strong majority have been upgraded in Britain and Canada, but fewer in the U.S. In Germany, cable is competing by offering twice the speed at the same price, easy because DT is only now getting serious about upgrading. Mike Fries and Liberty Global/Unitymedia KabelBW prefer to raise prices than to increase market share, so we'll see how that plays out.

    The U.S. telco figures are skewed by the AT&T/Verizon decision to kill all landlines to the majority of their territory, going wireless only to 20-30% of homes. They are treating those homes like the Romans treated the Sabine women so of course many are fleeing to cable. Where they have FiOS and U-Verse, they are doing fine, but in the other territories AT&T is doing so poorly they lost a net 50,000 lines in Q2.  

   Below, the U.S. data for 2013 and for Q2 2014 from Leichtman Research. Comcast is a continuing standout, Cablevision a laggard (-9,000 in Q2.) AT&T and Windstream are hurting. Frontier is holding its own, partly through marketing and partly through upgrading the territories that Verizon had been "harvesting" before the sale. They recently told Wall Street that will be hard to maintain.    

Broadband Internet Subscribers at End 
of 2013
Net Adds in 
Cable Companies
Comcast 20,662,000 1,296,000
Time Warner 11,606,000 211,000
Charter 4,640,000 371,000
Cablevision 2,780,000 17,000
Suddenlink 1,059,500 57,400
Mediacom 965,000 50,000
WOW (WideOpenWest)* 740,000 31,000
Cable ONE 472,631 13,396
Other Major Private Cable Companies** 6,385,000 115,000
Total Top Cable 49,310,131 2,161,796
Telephone Companies
AT&T 16,425,000 35,000
Verizon 9,015,000 220,000
CenturyLink 5,991,000 140,000
Frontier^ 1,836,000 112,000
Windstream 1,170,900 (43,600)
FairPoint 329,766 4,789
Cincinnati Bell 268,400 9,000
Total Top Telephone Companies 35,036,066 477,189
Total Broadband 84,346,197




Broadband Internet Subscribers at End
of 2Q 2014
Net Adds in
2Q 2014
Cable Companies
Comcast 21,271,000 203,000
Time Warner* 11,965,000 86,000
Charter 4,850,000 62,000
Cablevision 2,779,000 (9,000)
Suddenlink 1,103,300 200
Mediacom 987,000 3,000
WOW (WideOpenWest)** 769,600 12,900
Cable ONE 482,725 (1,443)
Other Major Private Cable Companies*** 6,475,000 25,000
Total Top Cable 50,682,625 381,657
Telephone Companies
AT&T 16,448,000 (55,000)
Verizon 9,077,000 46,000
CenturyLink 6,055,000 (2,000)
Frontier^ 1,900,500 27,500
Windstream 1,153,800 (16,600)
FairPoint 333,421 1,883
Cincinnati Bell 270,300 300
Total Top Telephone Companies 35,238,021 2,083
Total Broadband 85,920,646 383,740


Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.



March 21

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