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Every quarter it's the same old story for cable companies. Subscriber losses have become the norm as streaming continues to pluck more viewers away from tethered cable, and in the fourth quarter of 2011, Comcast lost 17,000 TV customers. That might have been cause for panic a decade ago, but in today's landscape, Comcast has reason to celebrate.
Comcast hasn't lost as few as 17,000 cable subscribers in five years, and compared to 2010, last quarter's losses were a drop in a bucket. In same quarter one year earlier, Comcast reported 135,000 cable subscriber losses, or about eight times as many as Q4 2011.
"Last year was a very important year for our company. Cable continued to drive innovation, increase new product introductions and transform the customer experience, and we successfully integrated NBCUniversal," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast. "We also reported strong financial and operating results in both the fourth quarter and for the full year. Specifically, cable had another terrific quarter of improving customer metrics, demonstrating that our new XFINITY brand and our intensified focus on service and innovation are making a real difference."
That's right, Comcast lost 17,000 cable subscribers and still described it as a "terrific quarter" for cable, which underscores the expectations in today's streaming landscape.
In terms of overall revenue, Comcast collected over $15 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 54.7 percent year-on-year increase.