Year-end financials tout streaming video, gigabit

Feb. 3, 2019
In this quarter's financial roundup, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) stressed a successful transition to a connectivity-centric model throughout 2018.  For the full year, the company added 1 million net new customer ...

In this quarter's financial roundup, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) stressed a successful transition to a connectivity-centric model throughout 2018. For the full year, the company added 1 million net new customer relationships, fueled by the 13th consecutive year of gaining 1 million broadband net adds. Gigabit speed was rolled out to nearly all of the company’s 58 million homes and businesses in the footprint.

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said the company is leveraging the X1 platform to be “the best aggregator of aggregators.” Comcast has integrated YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. “X1 is the best platform to consume live, on-demand and streaming content on TV and on Xfinity Stream,” Roberts said.

Xfinity Mobile has 1.2 million subscriber lines. “We’re very pleased with this performance in Mobile so far and the value it adds to the bundle. (We) are on track to achieve our primary objectives including positive standalone economics,” Roberts said.

Regarding direct-to-consumer, Comcast is “excited to get going … and stand up a management team and get going on entering the business … our excitement comes from the fact that the way that we’re entering the business really addresses the real objective we have, which is as viewership goes online, how do we monetize that viewership better,” said Steve Burke, CEO NBCUniversal and SVP Comcast.

The solution, Burke said, is to take the shows that Comcast produces and offer them for free to 80% of multi-channel customers in the United States and to Sky customers in Europe. Then they will be offered to people not part of the ecosystem for a fee.

Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) noted that it has migrated 70% of acquired residential customers to Spectrum pricing and packaging and has completed its all-digital initiative, the upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1, and the launch of gigabit speed across its entire residential and business footprint.

For the coming year, Charter is focused on driving higher sales volumes. The company had to retrain sales force personnel to adjust to changes made to double- and triple-play packaging as well as to ensure selling landline voice and mobile in every sales opportunity. “Our sales effectiveness will continue to improve. Our fourth quarter results demonstrate that churn continues to show meaningful improvements as planned,” said Tom Rutledge, Charter chairman and CEO.

Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.A) in Canada said it offers 1 Gbps speeds to all customers and has a roadmap to support up- and downstream speeds of up to 10 Gbps across its entire footprint. 2018 saw the acceleration of a connected home strategy and the “reinvention” of the TV business with Ignite TV, which went from employee trial to consumer trial to full-scale consumer launch.

“Rogers has established a competitive advantage in cable with our world-class Internet, our DOCSIS roadmap, our IPTV service and Connected Home roadmap,” said Joe Natale, president and CEO, Rogers.

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