Verizon Communications added just 20,000 FiOS TV customers in the fourth quarter, its weakest additions since launching the service in 2006, and further evidence that cord-cutting is beginning to chip away at what once was pay TV’s most reliable growth engine.
FiOS TV ended the fourth quarter with 5.8 million customers. Broadband growth also slowed in the period, as Verizon added 99,000 FiOS Internet customers, compared to 145,000 additions in the same period last year.
Leichtman Research Group president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman said the 20,000 FiOS TV additions were the lowest since the second quarter of 2015 when the unit added 26,000 video customers. He added the results are a factor of Verizon’s own success – it has about 35% video penetration in its markets, leaving little room for growth – and its recent deal with Frontier Communications to sell about 1 million subscribers for $10.5 billion.