How Verizon takes share from cable, satellite

Data from the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications offer a rare level of detail into the way Verizon takes share from cable and satellite providers, pointed out Craig Moffet, senior analyst with Bernstein Research, in a research note today.

Verizon added 81,000 FiOS subscribers in Massachussetts last year (up from 66,000 the year before), while Comcast lost 31,000 subscribers there. Comcast lost 46,000 subscribers where FiOS was available and gained 15,000 subs where FiOS was not available. Moffett estimated that stolen share from satellite providers accounted for 43% of Verizon’s gains, though he pointed out that Massachusetts may have a below-average number of satellite subscribers, suggesting that Verizon may be taking greater share from satellite providers elsewhere.

“Broadly speaking, the results confirm the expectation that Verizon’s video gains are likely to peak this year and next,” Moffett wrote. “Incremental passings are at peak levels, while the base remains relatively small. We would expect subscriber growth for Verizon — and subscriber losses for Verizon’s competitors — to decelerate quite rapidly thereafter.”

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