Comcast Lost 477K Pay TV Subs in Q2 Despite Peacock Giveaway

(Image credit: Comcast)

Comcast lost a total of 477,000 pay TV customers in the second quarter across its residential and business channels, the cable company disclosed Thursday. 

Residential losses totaled 427,000 customers in Q2, while another 50,000 business customers shed their video services, with restaurants, bars and other public establishments shuttered amid the pandemic.

The losses represented a doubling of the 424,000 Xfinity TV subscribers that quit Comcast video services in the second quarter of 2019. 

Comcast has now lost 815,000 Xfinity TV customers in the first six months of 2020. Comcast, which once called its vaunted X1 video platform a “churn buster,” has lost nearly 1.6 million pay TV customers in the last 12 months. 

Earlier this month, equity research company Cowen released data suggesting that as much as 42% of the Comcast video subscriber base is on promotional pricing. With many of those customers facing steep price increases in the next 12 months, Comcast is likely looking at the attrition getting worse, not better. 

Comcast remains the No. 1 supplier of traditional linear pay TV service in the U.S. Its residential video subscriber base hovered at just more than 19,400.

The losses came despite Comcast/NBCUniversal’s soft launch of new SVOD service Peacock in mid-April—the $4.99 premium version of the service was available for free to Xfinity TV subscribers. 

Comcast did post its second-best broadband subscriber growth in the last 13 years, adding more than 340,000 subscribers during a lockdown period during which most people needed internet to get by. 

Also read: NBCU Announces 10M Signups for Peacock

Growing high-speed internet has been the expressed priority for Comcast over the last several years. The company now gives away a free shiny-bundle streaming TV service, Xfinity Flex, to its broadband-only users.

While disclosing the downer pay TV numbers, Comcast did say that it had signed up 10 million Peacock users since its April 15 soft launch.  

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!