Verizon, AT&T Accelerate TV Service Subscriber Growth

Oct 27, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Verizon Communications said today that customer growth for its FiOS television service accelerated during the third quarter, echoing last week’s similar report from AT&T on its U-verse service. The growth indicates that fiber-optic TV services may be continuing to pull customers from cable and satellite companies.
Verizon’s FiOS added 233,000 subscribers during the third quarter, up from a gain of 176,000 subscribers in the second quarter. The second-largest U.S. phone company behind AT&T has about 1.6 million subscribers for its FiOS TV service, up from about 700,000 a year ago.
FiOS is the biggest brand in a fiber-optic TV industry that’s been forecast to pull customers from both cable and satellite companies during the next few years. Between now and 2013, the number of U.S. cable subscribers will be little changed, at about 64 million, while the satellite subscriber base will expand about 8% to 33.4 million, consultant SNL Kagan said last month. The number of telco video subscribers will jump fivefold to more than 11 million by 2013, SNL Kagan said.
Last week, AT&T said it accelerated customer growth for its U-verse Internet protocol TV service, adding 232,000 third-quarter subscribers, up from 170,000 subs added in the second quarter; its customer base now stands at 781,000. AT&T said today that it added about 30 high-definition channels to its U-verse inventory, bringing its total to more than 75 channels.
FiOS, which started in September 2005, had a nine-month head-start on U-verse, although the services don’t directly compete because of the companies’ regional exclusivity.
U.S. cable leader Comcast, which has about 25 million subscribers, reports third-quarter earnings later this week. No. 2 Time Warner Cable, New York-area cable company Cablevision and U.S. satellite leader DirecTV all report next week.


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