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How Important Is the Video Business for Frontier Communications?

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Frontier’s video customers

In the third quarter, Frontier Communications (FTR) lost a net 37,000 total video subscribers, which includes 8,000 DISH subscribers. However, the telecom company lost a net 36,000 total video subscribers in the same period a year earlier, which includes 10,000 DISH subscribers. Frontier’s total video subscribers declined by ~11.5% YoY to reach 1.1 million at the end of September 30. This reduction in video subscribers was majorly driven by the growing popularity of over-the-top (or OTT) offerings.

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During the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference held earlier this month, Dan McCarthy, Frontier’s president and CEO, stated that the company needs to be in the video business. He added, “So where we think really it is very important, we think we need to offer the product different ways and different channels. We do think there’s things that we can do to work on our cost structure as far as content as far as how we offer through different channel partners but a different focus on bundled strategy on a more profitable.”

Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR) had lost a net 95,000 and 66,000 residential video subscribers in the quarter ended September 30, respectively. AT&T (T) lost a net 346,000 traditional pay-TV subscribers.

OTT market

Millions of users have already swapped traditional pay-TV services for OTT offerings, which directly provide content to users over the Internet at cheaper rates than a cable TV or satellite connection.

Amazon’s Prime Video, Alphabet’s YouTube TV, and Netflix (NFLX) are leading providers of low-cost OTT video streaming services. In the third quarter, Netflix gained ~7 million subscribers worldwide.

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