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Verizon loses 79,000 TV subs, adds broadband users in Q3

Verizon lost 78,000 net pay TV subscribers for its Fios consumer video service in the third quarter, ending it with just more than 3.0 million, the telecom giant said on Tuesday.

It had lost 69,000 users in its consumer division in the second quarter and lost 95,000 in the year-ago period.

Verizon also lost 1,000 business Fios video customers on the third quarter. The company has in the past often cited “the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings” as a key driver of video subscriber declines.

Verizon, led by chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg, gained 72,000 Fios broadband internet subscribers in the third quarter after adding 51,000 in the second quarter. Total broadband net additions of 434,000 in the latest period compared with 287,000 in the second quarter, leading Verizon to end September with a total broadband user base of 10.3 million. The company noted that this meant “the fourth consecutive quarter that Verizon reported more than 400,000 broadband net additions.”

Last year, Verizon unveiled its +play platform, which “allows users to discover, purchase and manage some of their favorite subscriptions across entertainment, audio, gaming, fitness, music, lifestyle and more — all in one place.” The firm explained at the time: “Through new partnerships with Netflix, Peloton, Live Nation’s Veeps and featuring leading services like Disney+, Discovery+, A+E Networks, AMC+ and many others, the hub will give Verizon customers a simple and efficient way to access and take advantage of exclusive deals for content services.”

Verizon posted third-quarter earnings of $4.76 billion, or $1.13 per share, or $1.22 a share when adjusted for non-recurring costs. That exceeded Wall Street expectations. Quarterly revenue of $33.3 billion came in below Street estimates.

Vestberg in the Tuesday earnings update lauded the company’s momentum, saying: “Our financial discipline, combined with our healthy balance sheet, enabled us to increase our dividend for the 17th consecutive year, which is the longest current streak of dividend increases in the U.S. telecom industry.” The Hollywood Reporter

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