The Story of the Numbers

I ran across some interesting statistics from the Leichtman Research Group. They track a lot of basic industry statistics and the ones I found most interesting are summaries showing the number of cable and data customers at all of the largest carriers in the industry. Consider the following table that I have created from their statistics:

Data Customers 2013 2012 2011
Comcast 20,662,000 19,366,000 18,143,000
Time Warner 11,606,000 11,395,000 10,909,000
Charter 4,640,000 4,269,000 3,946,000
Cablevision 2,740,000 2,723,000 2,633,000
Suddenlink 1,059,500 1,002,100 948,700
MediaCom 965,000 915,000 851,000
Cable One 472,631 459,235 451,082
Major Cable 42,145,131 40,129,335 37,881,782
AT&T 16,425,000 16,390,000 16,427,000
Verizon 9,015,000 8,795,000 8,670,000
CenturyLink 5,991,000 5,851,000 5,659,000
Frontier 1,836,000 1,724,000 1,702,000
Windstream 1,170,900 1,214,500 1,207,800
FairPoint 329,766 324,977 312,745
Cincinatti Bell 268,400 259,400 257,300
Major Telco 35,036,066 34,558,877 34,235,845
Major Carriers 77,181,197 74,688,212 72,117,627
Cable Customers 2013 2012 2011
Comcast 21,690,000 21,995,000 22,331,000
Time Warner 11,393,000 12,218,000 12,743,000
Charter 4,342,000 4,158,000 4,314,000
Cablevision 2,813,000 3,197,000 3,250,000
Suddenlink 1,177,400 1,211,200 1,249,000
Mediaom 945,000 1,000,000 1,069,000
Cable One 538,894 593,615 621,423
Major Cable 42,899,294 44,372,815 45,577,423
DirecTV 20,253,000 20,084,000 19,885,000
Dish 14,057,000 14,056,000 13,967,000
DBS 34,310,000 34,140,000 33,852,000
AT&T 5,460,000 4,536,000 3,983,000
Verizon 5,262,000 4,726,000 3,981,000
Major Telco 10,722,000 9,262,000 7,964,000
Major Carriers 87,931,294 87,775,815 87,394,423

This table only looks at the major carriers, but in this country that is almost everybody. For example, missing from the table of cable customers are all of the other providers, who altogether only have 7% of the total cable market.

There are some interesting things to notice about these statistics:

  • The number of high-speed data customers continues to grow and the major providers added 2.5 million more customers in both 2012 and 2013.
  • The major cable companies either have or soon will have more data customers than cable customers. This explains why they now view themselves as ISPs who happen to sell cable.
  • The cable companies lost 2.7 million cable customers from 2011 to 2013. This may have more to do with service and competition than anything else since AT&T and Verizon picked up 2.7 million cable customers during that same time period.
  • The Comcast / Time Warner proposed merger is gigantic since those two firms are two of the top three data providers today and two of the top four cable providers.
  • As much effort as the satellite companies expend in advertising they are barely growing. Dish Networks, for example added a net 1,000 customers in 2013.
  • A few companies are really bleeding cable customers and Cablevision and Cable One both lost 14% of their cable subscribers over a two year period. Even Time Warner lost 11%.
  • As well as AT&T and Verizon have done in cable, together they have only grown to be 12% of the cable market.
  • The fastest growing ISPs over the two-year period are Charter (17%), Comcast (13%) and MediaCom (13%).

One thought on “The Story of the Numbers

  1. 4/29/2014

    Dear Doug:
    A couple of thoughts…
    (1) My wife and I are at this decision juncture along with everyone else, and have been for more or less one or two years. I abhor paying $200+ per month for “triple-play” FiOS, which includes a whole lot of TV channels that we never use, and a home phone that mostly takes incoming calls from telemarketers and elderly relatives. Most everyone else knows to contact us on our cell phones (although I do make some outbound calls on the home phone when I am there, and/or when the battery on my cellphone is dead…). I guess we are part of that generation of folks that uses technology, but is still “wedded” to our old ways (i.e., home phone). For our family, that 301- home telephone number is our “brand”… maybe we’ll see if we can keep it on an inbound-only basis?
    The FiOS data charges I have no trouble with… it is the TV, where I watch only a few channels, and the home telephone to a lesser extent, that really roasts me. Calls to VZ have not been helpful; instead of helping me save money, they want to “enhance the value of my experience.”
    Kind of like asking Dan Snyder, the owner of Wash. DC’s (un-namable) football team, to cut prices — it is just not in their DNA.
    Although he does not know it yet, one of my son’s “summer jobs” this summer will be to assist with our analysis and transformation… What services do we really NEED to keep in our home in 2014, and which can be jettisoned or converted to something more useful and cost-effective?
    Stay tuned… (… or can we even say it that way anymore?)

    (2) In the days prior to my tenure at CCG, I was a salesperson for SBC Mobile Systems, what is now AT&T Mobility… Listening to all the carriers talk about their claims of market share, I realized that if we added up everyone’s claims of marketshare, it would equal 150%!! Every time I look at carriers’ purported penetration claims, I think back to those early days…

    P.S. I have a solution to the quandaries with the L.A. Clippers’ owner, and that football team in Washington DC: Don’t go. Shut off the TV, and go do something else. +R

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