Charter’s residential video subscribers
Leading US cable TV operator Charter (CHTR) lost 36,000 net residential video customers in Q4 2018 compared to net additions of 2,000 video customers in Q4 2017. At the end of December 31, 2018, Charter had nearly 16.1 million residential video customers, down 1.8% year-over-year. Cable rival Comcast (CMCSA) reported a loss of 19,000 residential video customers in Q4 2018. Dish Network (DISH) posted a loss of 334,000 net pay-TV subscribers in the same period. Charter Communications is the third-largest pay-TV service provider in the US after Comcast and AT&T (T).
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Charter to add video customers after losses
The telecom company has been incurring video customer losses for the past several quarters mainly due to cord-cutting and competition from low-cost over-the-top (or OTT) video streaming players in the industry like Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime Video. Apart from OTT players, Charter also faces a threat from satellite broadcasters such as AT&T’s DirecTV and Dish’s Dish TV.
During Q4 2018, the company completed its all-digital efforts for its Legacy TWC, which was Time Warner Cable earlier, and Bright House Networks (or Legacy Bright House). Charter now expects its subscriber metrics to improve as the churn rates of the Legacy TWC and Bright House Networks systems are improving.
RBC analyst Maral has also said that Charter’s balance sheet is strong and has the potential to perform amid a potential downturn.