The MSO Video Subscriber Mystery

According to first quarter reports, large MSOs are adding pay-TV subscribers while mid-tier service providers are losing them. It’s interesting but begs the question, why?

Telogical specializes in tracking telecom & cable product and pricing information, so we decided to see if offer differences were behind this. For our purposes, “top” providers are Comcast, Charter, and TWC (just like the linked article), and “mid” providers are Mediacom, CableOne, and Suddenlink.

So how do they stack up?

To do our analysis, we compared lead Internet-video double play offers from each of these six providers based on three criteria: promotional price, advertised channel count, and download speed.

Promotional Price

Advertised Channel CounT

Download Speed

From our research, we can see that while there are differences between the offers, none seem to be significant. The “top” providers have an advantage in price (~$6/mo) and channels (~10) but lag behind in speed (~13 Mbps). Overall, the competitiveness of the packages is very similar and, therefore, unlikely the full explanation behind the subscriber numbers.

If not offers, then what?

So, if the offers themselves don’t tell the whole story, then why are “top” MSOs adding video subs while “mid” providers are losing them? Two potential answers are larger advertising budgets and better brand value, but other factors could be in play. What do you think? We welcome your comments here or on twitter @telogical.