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Summary:

In the fight for new subscribers, cable companies are winning on broadband and telcos are winning over TV viewers. But while telcos are taking IPTV subs, they are losing the overall war on digital voice and broadband — so their TV victory may be a Pyrrhic one.

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In the fight for new subscribers, cable companies are winning on broadband and telecommunications providers are winning over TV viewers according to data from Telegeography. The research firm posted data that shows while telcos are winning subscribers with IPTV, they are losing the war on digital voice and broadband, so their pay TV victory may be a Pyrrhic one.

If consumers make a big shift to over-the-top programming or cord cutting, then telcos might find themselves at a loss, since all one needs for TV is the Internet. Cable companies seem to know this. So while the number of IPTV subscribers hit 50 million in the second quarter of this year, with most of those ascribed to telcos (most cable providers aren’t using IPTV), they are losing out on broadband subscribers. Cable providers now have a total of 100 million broadband subscribers and more than 65 million voice subscribers on their networks.

From the Telegeography report:

“Cablecos’ broadband and voice subscriber wins at the expense of telcos far outnumber their pay-TV subscriber losses due to IPTV, and ARPUs for both broadband and voice are more than double that of IPTV,” said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale. “There are differences by region, but globally, cablecos’ expansion into telecoms markets has had a transformational impact on their growth and financial performance, while the impact of IPTV for telcos has been only marginal.”

Photo courtesy of (CC BY 2.0) Flickr user The Consumerist.

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  1. That data is global cume data. And some of it really doesn’t apply to the U.S. For example: “ARPUs for both broadband and voice are more than double that of IPTV,” said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale.

    In the U.S., ARPUs for video exceed ARPU for voice + broadband combined in many cases. The average cable sub is ~$75. Cable voice is $30 or less. Cable internet is typically $40-50. On the phone company side, those numbers are similar, with DSL being a bit less and the voice being a bit higher for unlimited, but about that for regular.

    So anyway….

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