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Cord-cutting will hit Comcast particularly hard

March 28th, 2018 at 9:01 PM
Comcast cord-cutting cable alternative

Cord-cutting is an existential problem that’s affecting the entire cable TV and satellite industry right now. But just as the weakest animals are the first that are picked from the herd, the least-liked companies tend to be the most affected by sweeping industry trends.

That’s what UBS analyst John Hodulik is implying in a new note issued to investors last week, spotted by DSL Reports. Hodulik predicts Comcast’s subscriber losses will double to 400,000 in 2018, compared to 150,000 lost in a record-breaking 2017.

“We now expect Comcast to lose 400,000 video subscribers in 2018 (previous estimate negative 320,000) while video revenue will fall 1.4%,” Hodulik told investors. He also predicts that subscribers to live video streaming services will jump 67% in 2018 to 9.2 million, up from 5.5 million in 2017. That would be an explosion in streaming services, given that reaching the 5.5 million figure last year took unprecedented growth for the industry.

If Hodulik’s predictions do come true, however, it’s particularly bad news for Comcast. Other cable companies are at least partially insulated from the switch to streaming services, as satellite operator Dish is the owner of Sling, the largest live streaming service, and AT&T owns DirecTV Now, another succesful streaming service. Comcast, meanwhile, is spending $31 billion to buy European pay TV giant Sky.

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