Cablevision’s impressive triple play growth got a reality check last quarter, probably courtesy of Verizon FiOS. Analysts have come to expect impressive growth numbers from Cablevision, but their latest quarterly report reveals basically flat growth. Cablevision also reduced expectations for growth throughout the rest of the year. Their video growth had the smallest gains, suggesting that potential video subscribers are exploring other options. A telling number reported by Cablevision and encouraging for them (and all triple play providers) is an ARPU figure of $121.
Verizon is aggressively marketing FiOS in the New York City metropolitan area and in Long Island, which is Cablevision’s home turf. These Cablevision numbers suggest that Verizon’s efforts are starting to be felt by their competitors. The post previous to this one reveals Verizon’s early penetration in Massachusetts markets, where they are taking market share from Comcast, RCN, and DBS. In response to Verizon’s efforts, Cablevision has begun marketing triple play bundles with compelling introductory pricing promotions to existing video subscribers. Previously, these bundle schemes were only available to new customers. The competitive reality between cable and telecom is really beginning to show. AT&T, Verizon, and the video efforts of numerous independent operating companies (IOCs) across the country are now beginning to take hold. Conversely, cable competitors are now flexing their considerable telephony muscle. The result is a marketplace where both industries are fighting for long term survival and dominance, with consumers sure to benefit, and the analysts among us acting as spectators to a spirited contest.