Comcast lost another 490,000 residential video customers in the United States in the third quarter of 2023, reducing its total to 14.50 million, down from 16.58 million a year before and 19.34 million at the start of 2021. In comparison, it has 29.78 million domestic broadband customers, which could be potential customers for its new Xumo venture with Charter, which also serves around 30 million consumers.
Comcast counts 17.96 million customer relationships internationally for its connectivity and platforms business, which is basically Sky, but it does not break this down further.
The company previously reported having around 23 million Sky customer relationships at the start of 2023. That also included around 5 million customers receiving Sky services outside of its connectivity and platforms markets.
The Peacock online video service gained 4 million subscribers in the third quarter, driven by converting free trials to paying subscribers, with a total of 28 million, compared to 16 million a year before. Revenue for the quarter was $830 million but it made a loss of $565 million, compared to revenue of $506 million the previous quarter and a loss of $614 million.
Michael Cavanagh, the president of Comcast Corporation, told analysts he expected 2023 to be the peak year for Peacock losses, which are expected to be around $2.8 billion in 2023, with a meaningful improvement in 2024.
In comparison, total media revenue for the quarter was over $6 billion, with operating expenses of $5.3 billion.
Consolidated results showed quarterly revenue of $30.1 billion, producing just over $4.0 billion in free cash flow, although the company still carries $88 billion in debt.
Xumo, a joint venture between Comcast and Charter formed to deliver the next generation of video entertainment, announced the launch of Xumo Stream Box to Spectrum households with plans to bring it to Comcast Xfinity homes.
“It’s an amazing platform that started with X1, but now will be in televisions, it will be in devices, and it will be all over the nation and, frankly, all over the world,” said Brian Roberts, the chairman and chief executive of Comcast. “The heart and soul of it is our entertainment operating system, which is global. That includes Sky, all of Canada, Cox and a number of other distributors.”
For its part, Charter reported a quarterly loss of 320,000 residential video customers, partly driven by a distribution dispute with Disney, with a total of 13.75 million, down from 14.62 million in a year and from 15.48 million at the start of 2021. Total revenues were flat at $13.6 billion for the quarter, of which $5.8 billion was from residential internet access. Charter has just over 30 million residential customer relationships.