Comcast and AT&T will Transform and Dominate U.S. Triple Play Market

Assuming both the Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and the AT&T bid to buy DirecTV are approved by regulators and antitrust authorities, the U.S. communications market (which now is becoming inseparable from the video entertainment services market) would be transformed.

Comcast would be the largest U.S. service provider, ranked by customer relationships, while AT&T would be only the second largest. Verizon would be a distant third.

Prospects for Sprint and T-Mobile US would still be significant in the mobile segment, but the really big change would be the change in what we might call the triple play services market that now defines the fixed network market.

Before one can analyze a market, one has to define a market. And that is the growing problem for the network services business, including high speed access, voice, video entertainment and mobile services, for both business and consumer segments.

Does one analyze each product segment, or all products sold by all contestants, even if some do not compete in all segments?

Even once those questions are answered, one has to decide whether to rank by subscriber or customer counts (consumer and business accounts included or disaggregated), by country where revenues are earned, or customers are served, or to use revenue (gross revenue or net revenue).

In the U.S. market, for example, measures of size based on mobile subscriber or revenues give different answers about which firm is bigger, AT&T or Verizon. And a mobile services ranking does not include Comcast, the biggest of the cable TV providers.

In the high speed services market, ranked by subscribers, Comcast clearly is the leader, while AT&T is number two and Time Warner Cable is number three.

Verizon is number four and CenturyLink is number five.

In video, Comcast in the biggest, ranked by subscribes, followed by DirecTV. Dish Network is number three, while Time Warner Cable is number four. AT&T follows at fifth and Verizon is sixth.

In voice services, AT&T is number one, ranked by customers, with Verizon and Comcast in second and third. Time Warner Cable is fourth. But many could note that Verizon and Comcast have almost the same number of voice customers.

In terms of total customer relationships, across high speed access, video entertainment and voice segments, Comcast is the biggest, followed by DirecTV.

AT&T is third, followed by Time Warner Cable, then Dish Network. Verizon is sixth biggest.

All that would change if both the Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and the AT&T purchase of DirecTV are approved. In that case, Comcast would be the largest U.S. service provider, with AT&T the number two, with both companies far ahead of all the others.

Video and high speed access would be the key services for both firms.


Video Provider
Subscribers at
End of 1Q 2014
Net Adds in
1Q 2014
Net Adds in
1Q 2013
Cable Companies



Comcast^
22,601,000
24,000
(25,000)
Time Warner
11,359,000
(34,000)
(118,000)
Charter
4,355,000
13,000
(35,000)
Cablevision
2,799,000
(14,000)
(5,000)
Suddenlink
1,187,500
2,400
800
Mediacom
937,000
(8,000)
(1,000)
Cable ONE
524,563
(14,331)
(5,435)
Other Major Private Cable Companies*
6,655,000
(20,000)
(40,000)
Total Top Cable
50,418,063
(50,931)
(228,635)




Satellite TV Companies (DBS)



DirecTV
20,265,000
12,000
21,000
DISH
14,097,000
40,000
36,000
Total Top DBS
34,362,000
52,000
57,000




Telephone Companies



AT&T U-verse
5,661,000
201,000
232,000
Verizon FiOS
5,319,000
57,000
169,000
Total Top Phone
10,980,000
258,000
401,000




Total Multi-Channel Video
95,760,063
259,069
229,365


Broadband Internet
Subscribers at End
of 1Q 2014
Net Adds in
1Q 2014
Cable Companies


Comcast*
21,068,000
383,000
Time Warner
11,889,000
283,000
Charter
4,788,000
148,000
Cablevision
2,788,000
8,000
Suddenlink*
1,103,100
35,100
Mediacom
984,000
19,000
WOW (WideOpenWest)
756,700
16,700
Cable ONE
484,168
11,537
Other Major Private Cable Companies**
6,450,000
65,000
Total Top Cable
50,310,968
969,337



Telephone Companies


AT&T
16,503,000
78,000
Verizon
9,031,000
16,000
CenturyLink
6,057,000
66,000
Frontier^
1,873,000
37,000
Windstream
1,170,400
(500)
FairPoint
331,538
1,772
Cincinnati Bell
270,000
1,600
Total Top Telephone Companies
35,235,938
199,872



Total Broadband
85,546,906
1,169,209

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