Charter Communications, which has for several years been losing linear video customers at a much slower pace than Comcast, has surpassed the Philadelphia cable conglomerate as the No. 1 pay TV operator in America.
Charter lost 257,000 video customers across residential and business channels in the fourth quarter, and 1.025 million for all of 2023. It finished the year with 4.122 million remaining customers.
Comcast, meanwhile, bled 389,000 Xfinity TV customers in Q4 and 2.036 million video subscribers for 2023 and finished the year with 14.106 million subs across residential and commercial sectors.
“Charter has fought harder than anyone for the flexibility to offer skinnier and cheaper bundles. Charter seems much more committed to the idea that video is a valuable part of their overall offering,” equity analyst Craig Moffett told Next TV over email Friday afternoon.
“Comcast made peace with the idea that the best course of action when customers want to cut the cord is to let them,” he added.
Comcast had been America’s largest linear pay TV company since the third quarter of 2019, when the quickening erosion of DirecTV resulted in AT&T slipping behind the cable company in terms of pay TV girth ranking.
Comcast and Charter are currently in a joint venture, Xumo, attempting to develop a cable-industry-wide connected TV platform that will compete with Roku, Google and Amazon.
Charter has even explicitly said that Xumo is the tip of its video spear moving forward, so these linear benchmarks, while notable, aren’t likely to move either cable company’s stock needle. Yahoo