Verizon lost 81,000 Fios video subscribers in the second quarter of 2020, on top of 84,000 lost in the first quarter. It was its fourteenth consecutive quarterly video subscriber loss, taking it under four million subscribers for the first time since 2011. Television and video no longer seem to be a priority for the communications company, which sees 5G networks as the next big thing.
Verizon has lost 283,000 video subscribers in 12 months, or nearly 7% of its base. The numbers are considerably down on their peak of 5.86 million in March 2016, having grown steadily until then.
The company still ranks fifth among television service providers, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index, but is a long way behind DISH Network, which has around 9 million subscribers.
Verizon has announced a deal to offer Pluto TV, owned by ViacomCBS, on Fios cable boxes. As part of the agreement, Pluto TV is partnering with Verizon to add three new co-branded channels, exclusive to Verizon subscribers.
Earlier in the year, Verizon introduced a package that prominently features YouTube TV as an alternative to its own Fios video service.
It is not clear where television video ranks in the priorities of Verizon. Matt Ellis, the chief financial officer, simply said “Fios Video net losses were consistent with previous quarters as cord-cutting trends continued.”
It seems that the opportunity to deliver television and video services is no longer as exciting for the communications company as the potential of 5G mobile services.
Mobile is its main consumer business, with 93.98 million connections and wireless service revenues of $13.09 billion for the quarter, compared to total Fios revenues of $2.75 billion including internet services. Business customers produced revenues of $7.48 billion.
Total quarterly revenue of $30.45 billion was down 5% on the second quarter the previous year.
“Through extraordinary circumstances, Verizon delivered a strong operational performance in the second quarter,” said chairman and chief executive Hans Vestberg. “We remain focused on our strategic direction as a technology leader, quickly adapting to the new environment and providing our customers with reliable and vital connections and technology services, while working to keep our employees safe and accelerating our 5G network deployment.”