Comcast TV subscriber losses accelerate in Q2; broadband, mobile growing

Comcast TV subscriber losses accelerate in Q2; broadband, mobile growing

The company shed 140,000 cable subscribers during the spring, an increase from the 93,000 it lost in the first quarter and its fifth straight quarterly decline.

USA cable company Comcast is leading the race to buy Sky after it offered 14.75 pounds a share this month, valuing the group at $34 billion.

Comcast attributed the weak revenue figure to its blockbuster-bare Universal film slate and the boost in profits to high-margin internet businesses.

Comcast, which dropped its pursuit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's entertainment assets last week after a bidding war with Walt Disney Co, is still in the hunt to acquire a controlling stake in European pay-TV company Sky PLC to expand internationally.

Chief Executive Brian Roberts told investors on a conference call that Comcast walked away from its bid for the Fox assets because it could not justify the escalating price.

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Its results come as the takeover tussle for Sky rages on, which could see it come under the full ownership of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox or U.S. cable giant Comcast, which have both put forward multibillion-pound offers.

Sky claims this marks the 29th consecutive year of growth for its revenue, of which its like-for-like revenue rose by 5% to £13.6bn ($17.92bn) and its advertising revenue increased by 6%. That made it Comcast's best second quarter for broadband gains in a decade.

The growth in internet connections is "more than offsetting the pressure on video and the outlook for the second half of the year is strong", said Kevin Roe, an analyst at Roe Equity Research.

Comcast said today it lost more cable TV subscribers than the previous year, but beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit as it gained more high-speed internet customers. As for commercial services, the company added 36,000 business customers, lifting its total to 2.2 million.

The analysts were referring to Thursday's announcement of Q2 financial results that included consolidated-incorporating cable and NBCUniversal-revenue up 2.1% and $4.3 billion in free cash flow. “Why is that? Because video over the Internet is more reliable, offers more devices and more bits per consumer and more bits per home.

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