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Old 05-19-2014, 08:29 PM   #271
Dan203
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
At the end of 1Q2014, Uverse had 5.7 million TV customers and 11 million internet customers. And 4.1 million voice customers.

"....SERVICE GROWTH: U-verse hits 11.3 million total subscribers ? 5.7 million U-verse TV customers. ? 4.1 million U-verse Voice connections. ? 11.0 million U-verse High Speed Internet customers. ? AT&T U-verse bundles available in 142 markets (MSAs) across 22 states. ? About 90 percent of U-verse TV sales in the first quarter also included High Speed Internet. ? About two-thirds of U-verse TV customers have a triple- or quad-play bundle. ? AT&T U-verse now has annualized total revenues of nearly $14 billion. ? About 60 percent of U-verse broadband subscribers have a plan delivering speeds up to 12 Mbps or higher (as of 1Q14). SERVICE EVOLUTION: Continued innovation in apps and speed ? Introduced the U-verse KIDS! app, a smartphone and tablet application that displays kid-friendly channels and remote controls for the TV**. ? Added even more live TV channels to the U-verse App for smartphones and tablets. ? Brought customers closer to Sochi with the U-verse Olympic TV App, an on-screen interactive app with NBCUniversal's real-time medal counts, athlete bios, Team USA reports, Olympic news and more. ? Announced plans to expand AT&T's ultra-fast fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas. ? Launched open APIs for the Android platform that will help developers create more unique apps for U-verse TV. U-verse Update: 1Q14 AT&T U-verse Reports Record Wireline Consumer Revenue Growth U-verse TV Subscribers in Service (in millions) U....."
I must have been looking at older numbers. But 5.7M is still only about 4-5%.

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I'm not so sure that I would go that far, as Verizon is still a telco. My point is just that it's a really weird way to count. I would almost say the most valuable way to count would be cable incumbent, cable overbuilders, and telcoTV. Although that's still a flawed measure, since it doesn't tell you anything about the market share of telcos or overbuilders in the areas that they actually serve, since cable is everywhere telcos are, but telcos definitely aren't everywhere cable is, sometimes by town or region, and sometimes by street or building.
Verizon the company may be a telco, but FIOS is basically just cable over fiber instead of coax. The linear TV channels are still multi-cast over fiber using standard QAM, so really the only difference is electrons vs photons delivering the signal.

And, with most cable companies offering phones now, should we really be distinguishing between them? They're all just MSOs now.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:39 PM   #272
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Isn't Comcast the third largest home phone provider now?
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:12 PM   #273
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It's very clear from every one of your posts that you are stuck in the old way of thinking. Literally everything you say isn't going to happen and "doesn't make sense" is EXACTLY what the TV industry is moving towards. They've said it publicly and in filings. IP distribution is coming. The VOD-ization of all non-live events is coming. Network DVR is coming. It may be a long time, but all of those things WILL happen. In 5 years the TV industry will look a lot different than it does today. In 10-15 years it'll look NOTHING like it looks today.
I'm mostly fine with that *if* there's a way (that costs MUCH MUCH less than the single show price on e.g. Amazon) to do it without commercials.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:13 AM   #274
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Two different measures. Of all US households, 88% had some form of multichannel video service in 2010. By 2013 that had dropped to 83% (each 1% represents about 1.2 million households). As a separate measure, 28% of all US households get at least some video via the internet (whether they have cable or not), and 4% of all US households say they ONLY use streaming services. That 4% is not neccessarily derived from the 5% that dropped cable, but comes from the 17% that didn't have any cable or satellite subscriptions in 2013.

And the 17% aren't neccessarily not watching TV, they could just be watching OTA only.

Ok that makes sense. Have cable and satellite companies as a whole had a 5% percentage point drop in subscribers since 2010? The numbers should match right?

Anyway what bugged about the stats is I would expect just what you reported. IT seems natural that given other options to watch tv content that it wouldn't help cable companies. And that more people would stream tv content and more would do only streaming. And less would subscribe to cable. Would we really expect anything else?

The big assumption would be assuming this is a larger trend that applies to every household.

Because it seems natural to me that the people most likely not subscribing to cable or satellite are the consumers who weren't a good fit for the cable/satellite business model.

And naturally these consumers would the people that didn't watch a ton of tv in the first place. or live alone. or really can't afford cable and so are fine with paying less for less content or older content. Or maybe they would rather not split up a cable bill with roomates as roomates and bills don't always mix well.

The question is how many of those households are there in the marketplace?
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:00 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by trip1eX View Post
Ok that makes sense. Have cable and satellite companies as a whole had a 5% percentage point drop in subscribers since 2010? The numbers should match right?

Anyway what bugged about the stats is I would expect just what you reported. IT seems natural that given other options to watch tv content that it wouldn't help cable companies. And that more people would stream tv content and more would do only streaming. And less would subscribe to cable. Would we really expect anything else?

The big assumption would be assuming this is a larger trend that applies to every household.

Because it seems natural to me that the people most likely not subscribing to cable or satellite are the consumers who weren't a good fit for the cable/satellite business model.

And naturally these consumers would the people that didn't watch a ton of tv in the first place. or live alone. or really can't afford cable and so are fine with paying less for less content or older content. Or maybe they would rather not split up a cable bill with roomates as roomates and bills don't always mix well.

The question is how many of those households are there in the marketplace?
Cable companies as a whole have seen more than a 5% decline in subsciber numbers, while satellite as a whole has seen a modest increase. Combined, there numbers are down 5% from 2010 to 2013.

You have hit upon the big question: is the increase in households without any traditional multi-channel service subscription a statistical blip or the tip of the iceberg? Nobody knows for sure, but everyone has a theory. The majority opinion seems to be that it is just the start of a trend away from linear broadcasting. The majority opinion, however, is not always correct.

Both of my children fall into this category. They have subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix. They both pay their local cable provider for internet service but do not subscribe to cable or phone service. They get their TV entertainment from streaming, OTA broadcasting and video games. However, both are still single and spend a lot of their time out with friends. They can afford cable, but both have decided that what they would gain is not worth the cost.

The real question is what they, and people like them, will do when they get married and have kids. The cable companies' fear that they may lose these customers forever. As a result, they are investing in the broadband parts of their business and not so much in the video distribution parts.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:48 PM   #276
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Cable companies as a whole have seen more than a 5% decline in subsciber numbers, while satellite as a whole has seen a modest increase. Combined, there numbers are down 5% from 2010 to 2013.

You have hit upon the big question: is the increase in households without any traditional multi-channel service subscription a statistical blip or the tip of the iceberg? Nobody knows for sure, but everyone has a theory. The majority opinion seems to be that it is just the start of a trend away from linear broadcasting. The majority opinion, however, is not always correct.

Both of my children fall into this category. They have subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix. They both pay their local cable provider for internet service but do not subscribe to cable or phone service. They get their TV entertainment from streaming, OTA broadcasting and video games. However, both are still single and spend a lot of their time out with friends. They can afford cable, but both have decided that what they would gain is not worth the cost.

The real question is what they, and people like them, will do when they get married and have kids. The cable companies' fear that they may lose these customers forever. As a result, they are investing in the broadband parts of their business and not so much in the video distribution parts.
I think there is a trend away from linear programming. That to me is obvious because it is very natural to want to watch what you want when you want. And if you don't want that then it is extremely easy to fake/simulate linear programming if you already have on-demand.


But I don't think this data indicates a trend away from cable/satellite companies. For one thing cable has had on-demand tech in their labs for over 15 years at least. And we've had dvrs about as long as well. so the cable/satellite vs alternatives isn't so much about linear vs on-demand. It's about the buffet vs ordering just what you want. It's about paying less to satisfy your tv viewing habit.

And so all that these numbers indicate to me is the various alternative viewing options make financial sense for some small portion of households out there. Right now some customers have figured out the math for cable/satellite doesn't work for them compared to those alternative options.

IF your kids get married and you become a grandma then the cable/satellite math will change for them. And their decision might change with it.

Of course the cable/satellite tv business also won't sit still. Who knows how they adapt. Offer a larger range of packages. Or show how you can by with a cheaper internet package if you're getting most of your video through a cable package.

On the other hand, it does seem pretty easy to see, given today's tech, how cable could easily become a dumb pipe in the distant future.

I mean look at a company like HBO. HBOGo could be viewed as a trojan horse.

AS they work on that and refine it and as internet speeds grow and grow then what is stopping them from eventually just going to directly to the consumer? And not requiring a cable subscription?

Eventually that math will probably work out for HBO.

At the same time it is easy to see how people will probably get annoyed eventually at having 20 different apps for watching their tv shows. And that someone will come up with this great idea of aggregating the content and selling it as a package to the consumer at one low price.

Last edited by trip1eX : 05-20-2014 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:13 PM   #277
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Verizon the company may be a telco, but FIOS is basically just cable over fiber instead of coax. The linear TV channels are still multi-cast over fiber using standard QAM, so really the only difference is electrons vs photons delivering the signal.

And, with most cable companies offering phones now, should we really be distinguishing between them? They're all just MSOs now.
Yeah, I know, that's why I said it's a weird classification, given how radically different U-Verse and FIOS are. FIOS could easily adopt U-Verse's IPTV model, but obviously U-Verse can't deliver cableTV.

They come from a different background, and as a result have very different capabilities today. Telcos are also given a free pass on requirements to build out a whole municipality or zip code with TV and internet, whereas the cable companies often have to build out for TV. The telcos also have their legacy copper weighing them down. Even AT&T could get rid of the core of their copper plants and just keep the copper downstream of the VRADs if regulators let them. IMHO, it's time for regulators to take a hard stance on wireline abandonment, but allow a 1 for 1 swap of copper for fiber to encourage further development of U-Verse and FIOS.

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Cable companies as a whole have seen more than a 5% decline in subsciber numbers, while satellite as a whole has seen a modest increase. Combined, there numbers are down 5% from 2010 to 2013.

You have hit upon the big question: is the increase in households without any traditional multi-channel service subscription a statistical blip or the tip of the iceberg? Nobody knows for sure, but everyone has a theory. The majority opinion seems to be that it is just the start of a trend away from linear broadcasting. The majority opinion, however, is not always correct.

Both of my children fall into this category. They have subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix. They both pay their local cable provider for internet service but do not subscribe to cable or phone service. They get their TV entertainment from streaming, OTA broadcasting and video games. However, both are still single and spend a lot of their time out with friends. They can afford cable, but both have decided that what they would gain is not worth the cost.

The real question is what they, and people like them, will do when they get married and have kids. The cable companies' fear that they may lose these customers forever. As a result, they are investing in the broadband parts of their business and not so much in the video distribution parts.
When they get married and settle down, as long as the content is locked up on cable, they will subscribe to cable.

As long as the content stays locked up, then what we're seeing is people who didn't really watch much TV in the first place cancel their TV subscriptions, and the market will more truly reflect how large it really is.

The cable losses are mostly to telcoTV and satellite, not to cord cutting. TelcoTV is particularly troublesome for them, since the telcos can do triple play bundles. However, there are so many areas where cable is an ironclad monopoly that they don't have much to worry about.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:36 PM   #278
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...When they get married and settle down, as long as the content is locked up on cable, they will subscribe to cable.

As long as the content stays locked up, then what we're seeing is people who didn't really watch much TV in the first place cancel their TV subscriptions, and the market will more truly reflect how large it really is.

The cable losses are mostly to telcoTV and satellite, not to cord cutting. TelcoTV is particularly troublesome for them, since the telcos can do triple play bundles. However, there are so many areas where cable is an ironclad monopoly that they don't have much to worry about.
The cable companies (and most of us) would love to have your level of certainty about the future.
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Old 05-22-2014, 04:57 PM   #279
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IMHO, it's time for regulators to take a hard stance on wireline abandonment, but allow a 1 for 1 swap of copper for fiber to encourage further development of U-Verse and FIOS.
I agree with this. In fact I would go as far as governments giving grants or 0% loans to fund the expansion of fiber.

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However, there are so many areas where cable is an ironclad monopoly that they don't have much to worry about.
That is true here. At least where high speed internet is concerned. The only other option is 6Mbps DSL from AT&T, and that's not even really 6Mbps unless you have a pristine connection. So cable is the only option if you want streaming video.
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Old 05-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #280
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The cable companies (and most of us) would love to have your level of certainty about the future.
Well, that assumes that the good content stays locked up on cable. If HBO and ESPN both break free and offer their own OTT offering, then all hell breaks loose. But so long as the content is locked up, the subscribers don't have any option, and cable will still have subs. Of course, cable owns the only pipe in many places, so they can just jack up their internet prices if people start dropping cable TV in droves. The margins on cable TV are far lower than on internet, so even a modest price hike on the internet would make up for the lost profit (which is all that matters, losing a bunch of revenue that just goes out to carriage fees is a net-zero), and put them right back where they are today.
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