While the two largest cable companies in the US won’t report numbers until February, the two largest telcos have stated their quarterly earnings, and the news for pay TV is decidedly positive. Verizon added 303,000 FiOS TV customers last quarter, and AT&T came in only a bit behind with 264,000 new U-verse subscribers. That’s more than half a million new FiOS and U-verse customers put together. In one quarter.
Keeping in mind that some portion of the new telco TV subs come from cable and satellite, the quarterly news still marks a positive trend. It suggests that households aren’t giving up, and indeed are probably adding pay-TV subscriptions even during a recession. We can speculate that this is because more people are staying home for entertainment, but there are other factors as well, like Verizon’s increasing ability to reach apartment buildings with FiOS access. Whatever the reasons, the news is good for TV providers as a whole. It means discretionary spending cuts aren’t negatively impacting TV subscriber counts.