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Comcast's broadband service gains in Q2 amid COVID-19; media, video not so much

Comcast's resilience comes from its cable broadband franchise, which has become an essential service.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Comcast added 340,000 high-speed residential broadband customers at a rapid clip in the second quarter to offset video losses and weakness in its media business. 

The results highlight how broadband has become like electric and water as an essential service amid remote work and education. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating shifts in cable consumption. 

Comcast reported second quarter net income of $2.99 billion, or 65 cents a share, on revenue of $23.72 billion, down nearly 12% from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 69 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting non-GAAP earnings of 55 cents a share on revenue of $23.58 billion. As companies have withdrawn guidance estimates have been off by a wide margin during the second quarter earnings season.

Overall, the resilience in Comcast's business comes from the cable unit. Comcast added 217,000 cable customer relationships and 323,000 high speed internet net additions. The breakdown, which doesn't include more than 600,000 high risk or free Internet Essentials accounts, include:

  • Net adds of 340,000 net residential broadband subscribers.
  • A net loss of 17,000 business broadband subscribers.
  • 427,000 net video customers lost.
  • A gain of 126,000 net wireless lines.

Add it up and Comcast is adding one product subscribers as its bundles drop off.


In Comcast's media unit, NBCUniversal saw revenue fall 25.4% and adjusted EBITDA fell 29.5%. Cable networks, films and theme parks all had double-digit percentage revenue declines. Broadcast television revenue was down 1.6%. Sky revenue was down 12.9%.  

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