Just in case you were wondering why Comcast is suddenly ready with TV service for people who prefer to watch over the internet, the earnings report it released today can show you why. For the first time (albeit by a narrow margin of 22.55 million to 22.3 million), the cable giant has more high speed internet customers than cable TV subscribers. As it usually does in its financial Q2, Comcast lost TV subscribers, but fewer this year (69,000) than last year (144,000), a number it credits to ongoing improvements in customer service. While the shift away from TV is a small one right now, it reminds us of a similar tipping point: when Netflix streaming overtook discs, and never looked back.
CEO Brian Roberts mentioned on the earnings call that Stream is a way to reach younger users -- like those already on its Xfinity on Campus streaming TV setup -- who don't want, and have never had, a cable box. Of course, it's not done with TV, and that's still the main pin in packages that add-on internet, phone, security and even home automation services, but times have changed. In fact, today much of Comcast's financial good news had to do with its film segment and theme parks.
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