Comcast feeling the heat from competition

Comcast feeling the heat from competition

Summary: Comcast added fewer Internet and video customers than expected in its third quarter.The cable giant on Thursday reported net income of $560 million, or 18 cents a share, on revenue of $7.

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Comcast added fewer Internet and video customers than expected in its third quarter.

The cable giant on Thursday reported net income of $560 million, or 18 cents a share, on revenue of $7.78 billion. Those results were in line with estimates, but the big worry was its subscriber totals. Comcast added 489,000 new digital cable subscribers and 450,000 high speed Internet access subscribers.

The rub: The 450,000 Internet access subscribers were down from 538,000 a year ago. Morgan Stanley was projecting Internet additions of 533,000 in the quarter. Comcast's video additions were roughly in line with expectations. Comcast voice subscribers were 662,000 in the quarter, below Merrill Lynch's estimate of 725,000.

Comcast also cut its cash flow outlook and noted that "the more competitive environment and less-robust economy may have a slight impact on our full year operating results."

So what's going on here? Two words: Verizon and AT&T.

AT&T reported a jump in high-speed Internet connections from a year ago. Part of the reason for this bump is that DSL service is cheaper for price conscious consumers (a slowing economy may make DSL more popular). Another factor is AT&T's U-verse rollout, which is dinging cable providers on the TV front.

On the Verizon front, the company is likely to note big growth in FiOS TV and Internet subscribers. Verizon reports its third quarter results on Monday. Morgan Stanley is expecting Verizon to post solid gains on FiOS and Verizon Wireless. A decrease in DSL and phone line subscribers is a worry. Overall Verizon is expected to report earnings of 62 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

But so far it's clear the cable giants are taking some heat. On Comcast's home turf--the Philadelphia area--Verizon is gaining some momentum. And with new services like Verizon's 20/20 plan that growth is likely to continue.

Topics: Broadband, Browser, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Telcos, Verizon

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19 comments
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  • The heck with Comcast .

    I just disconnected Comcast's Cable modem and installed Verizon's DSL modem .
    Now all I have to do is add my Router and I'm good to go . I will be paying 14.99 a
    month for Verizon DSL for a connection speed of 844 Kbps , as opposed to
    Comcast's 1.5 mbps for for 42.95 . I can't wait til Verizon's FIOS service is availble in
    my neighborhood . Rest assured i will be jumping on it when it's available . You can't
    beat the FIOS deal ( 20 Mbps upload and 20 Mbps download ) all for a satisfying price
    of 62.95 . That was one reason why I left Comcast , the other reason was for their
    despicable practice of BROADBAND throttling . Now all I have to do is research on my
    alternatives for TV service . I've had it with Comcast's CATV service .
    Intellihence
    • Something is wrong here.

      Beyond the Vista, a Leopard is stalking said "Comcast's 1.5 mbps for for 42.95"

      I pay about $45 per month and my connection speed is around 7 mbps.

      I am too looking for alternatives, becase recently Comcast wanted me to pay $50 to have a technician come and replace my cable box, that is being rented. I pay about $4 per month for the cable box. I had for a couple of years and now they want me to pay?

      I will not pay the. I am looking into DirectTV right now.
      BroGnorik
      • Go Dish Network or DirectTV ...

        I recently moved into a new complex and had to switch from DirecTV to Comcast CATV because the manager would not allow satellite dishes. For the exact same amount of money, $60.00 per month, I went from 150 channels down to 60 channels, from digital to analog, and no TIVO service plus the cable is out more frequently then my satellite service ever was. Talk about a downgrade!

        I would suggest Dish Network over DirecTV since the channel selection is a little better, for the kiddies at least. I had both and was going to go back to Dish Network before I moved to Comcast. Hey it's Comcraptic ;)
        MisterMiester
    • U can get Video and net with Verizon...

      U can get Triple PLAY Service with Verizon...
      TheCableGuyNY
  • RE: Comcast feeling the heat from competition

    I hope they feel the heat. Verizon started digging up my neighborhood in baltimore and i could not be happier. Due to distance limitations for DSL, Comcast was my only option. I can't wait to give Comcast the boot.
    theodore_daniels
    • Comcast feeling the heat from competition

      "TO" THEODORE_DANIELS who posted on 10/25/07
      I also live in Baltimore BUT I have not seen any digging by Verizon. I know that they have been in Columbia, And I would like to see them in the Gwynn Oak area "REAL SOON"!! So may I ask just where in Baltimore have you seen them??
      pricecc
  • Time Warner just switched Houston to Comcast

    All the bruhaha before the switch said "No cost increase, better
    service"! BULL!
    A Comcast service rep told me all the Time Warner "specials" were
    gone ($19.99 internet, free movie channels with premium package, etc)
    and that I could not longer get them.

    The ARE feeling the heat! Last night I got a call selling me the
    supposedly gone $19.99 a month cable internet service.

    COMPETITION IS GOOD!
    kd5auq
  • wireless

    I pay $15 for wireless access. It is slower than comcast, but cheaper and I can use all my wifi devices around town. Its hard to imagine paying comcast for anything. They suck! Their rates suck! Who would be buy services from a company that polices your internet usage and cuts your connection as they please. Comcast = China's little totalitarian protege. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/10/comcast-also-jamming-gnutella-and-lotus-notes
    Kungfoofighterx
  • maybe it has somethhing to do with....

    The fast forward block on their TiVo's
    Suicida|
  • Hooray for competition [nt]

    .
    Omch'Ar
  • I'll be willing to switch away from Comcast...

    ...if there's another competition out there who can provide HD programming, like ESPN HD and HDNet.

    For right now, I'm living in an apartment complex with no balcony and no window facing south. Plus, there's no line of sight because of the trees. I live in the Eagle Pines apartment complex in Tallahassee.

    :(

    Because I really wanted ESPN HD as an addition to FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS, I have to pay ~$130 a month for cable TV and Internet service. If I go with DSL and a different provider than can provide HD programming for low price (below $100), that'd be great for me!
    Grayson Peddie
  • Packet blockage partly to blame

    In addition to over saturation of network segments, yielding a huge drop in bandwidth after 3PM in any time zone, the Comcast practice of actively filtering and knocking out bitorrent traffic has caused more than a few to drop their service here in Chicago.

    WmH
    Wm_Hayashi
  • competition? what competition?

    Comcast took over roadrunner here in Houston. The transition is not complete, but since they forced us to switch Email from roadrunner to comcast, the connection has been down as much as it has been up!

    Was so PO'd last weekend I was ready to go back to AT&T, logged into their website -- was so clunky and cumbersome to sign up we're giving comcast another month to get their act together :(

    AT&T lost out on a golden opportunity to gain a customer, or is comcast blocking the sign-up websites of their competitors :) (not really possible here as I tried signing up from work which goes thru AT&T/SWBELL making the poor performance even less understandable!).

    --wally.
    wkulecz
  • RE: Comcast feeling the heat from competition

    I'm totally fed up with Comcast. I too am a "forced" convert to Comcast, from Time Warner.

    I don't know if it's my imagination, but lately the Comcast connection seems to be slower, and more erratic.

    But, what really frosts me re Comcast is their move to force you to upgrade to digital service. I'm on the "Standard" analog package, which is Basic 1 and Basic 2. Within the past four months Comcast has dropped no less than six channels from the Standard package. They claim the move is to bring everyone to the same service level, as it pertains to channels.

    However, a relative in a nearby community originally with Comcast continues to receive channels I've lost, and they're on the same Standard package. Comcast claims this can't be <vbg>. They refute with, "we haven't dropped those channels. They're on the digital package, and it's only $15 more per month.

    My response is, "I'm giving you all the $$ I care to send your way." I am literally one dropped channel away from dropping Comcast TV service, and going to DirectTV.
    jheyen
  • RE: Comcast feeling the heat from Comcast!!

    Poor reliability and arogant service are driving people away, not other services. If their service was on par with the other players, I would not be looking
    ken.leitman
  • No real competition in my neck of the woods.

    We've got zip in our part of the country (Great Lakes) for competition. It shows too. Comcast just keeps raising its rates for TV and Internet.

    My guess is that with Comcast's high prices, it's more a matter of the economy than anything else. After someone finds out that their house is only worth $300K rather than the $350K they though they could get, they are less inclined to pay $50/month to surf the web.

    I've always used DSL for broadband. I've generally been pleased with the service and I pay only half what the Comcast users do. If the economy continues on its current path, I suspect some others will be joining me on the DSL side of things.

    Of course, Comcast will have to be near bankruptcy before they lower their damn prices so as long as the economy continues downward, so will Comcast's new enrollments.
    shawkins
  • RE: Comcast feeling the heat from competition

    I was a happy Comcast broadband customer. Then, on
    December 14, 2006, we had a major windstorm that
    knocked out Comcast's service for 8 days, at which point
    I switched to DSL. I live with slower download speeds,
    but I need the reliability.
    michaelaaa14
  • Comcast feeling heat? They sure aren't showing it!

    Comcast feeling heat? They sure aren't showing it.

    They just sent a mailing with their last bill telling me I'm going to be paying more for the same service I have, because I'm not using them for Television anymore.

    If their service had value I would ... but they nickel and dime people like being peet and having birds pecking constantly.

    I stopped using them for tv and went to DishTV. I have DVR service a 5 dollars a month.. they wanted 15!

    I have all digial television, They had digital above channel 60, everything below that was analog, and not a clean signal.

    Now all I need is for Ethernet over Power to show up, or for the phone companies to put mini-co pops three miles out so that they can extend DSL to 6 miles.. then I'd have real choices... I've even thought of wireless, but the 500 dollars initial setup fee to too costly.
    TG2
  • RE: Comcast feeling the heat from competition

    I've been with Comcast for yrs and never have had a problem with the hi-speed, nor my cable (other then when some idiot runs his or her car into a pole ;-)
    I just switched to Comcasts HD and detest their dual tuner HD DVR (to many things to mention)
    If Verison (my cell service) brings FiOS into this area.... I'll be one of the first in their showroom to check it out....
    Sorry Comcast... Love your service, but your hardware bites!
    Hawk318