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Verizon Fios Cable TV Is Dying a Slow Death

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Image: Verizon handout image.

Verizon released its quarterly earnings this week, and announced that it lost a net of 62,000 Fios Video subscribers in the second quarter. At the same time, Verizon lost 92,000 Fios Internet customers in the quarter.

The company had lost 82,000 subscribers in the first quarter of the year, and 72,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020, after losing 61,000 in the third. As of the end of the first quarter of 2020, Fios had about 3,845,000 subscribers, per the Leitchman Research Group, which is the third-most in Leitchman’s “Other Traditional Services” category, after AT&T Premium TV (which includes DirecTV and AT&T’s other services) and Dish TV. The second quarter numbers bring that down to about 3.71 million.

“Their decline rate of 6.9% is now a little better than the rate of decline for the industry overall,” MoffettNathanson said in a research note, as cited by FierceVideo.

But Verizon had much better news in many other key parts of its business. In the second quarter, Verizon posted  $33.8 billion in operating revenue and net income of $5.9 billion.

Verizon stated that its earnings were “highlighted by an increase in 5G phone adoption, customer and sequential wireless service revenue growth, and superior network reliability.”

“It is remarkable the difference a year can make,” Vestberg said on the earnings call Wednesday, per FierceWireless. “Our network and in-store traffic are almost back to pre-pandemic volumes.”

CNBC reported that Verizon beat analyst expectations for both revenue and earnings per share. The company’s stock surged Wednesday as a result.

“We are executing on our multipurpose network strategy and producing positive results in each of our five growth vectors, recording strong second quarter results. With more connections on our network than anyone else, our already excellent network performance improved in the quarter and was recognized by RootMetrics as the best overall network performance for the 16th time in a row. We are also expanding our 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Home markets,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said in the earnings announcement.

“We are excited about our momentum leading into the second half of the year. We are on track to close both the Tracfone and Verizon Media transactions, and will continue to bring value and choice to our customers.”

“Second quarter results were exceptional, both financially and operationally,” Verizon Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis said in the earnings release. “Our strong first half performance and the momentum in our business gives us the confidence to raise our total wireless service revenue growth guidance to between 3.5 percent and 4 percent, an update from prior guidance for 2021 total wireless service revenue growth of at least 3 percent.”

 Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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