Cable TV companies will have ten million more broadband subscribers than video customers by the end of the year.
A report from Moody's Investors Service predicts that the industry will have 57 million broadband customers at the end of 2016, up from 52 million in late 2014, as video subscribers fall to 47 million from 49 million over the same period.
Jason Cuomo, a Moody's analyst, said that the launch of hot over-the-top (OTT) services and better set-top streaming boxes, particularly offerings from Apple, will drive more broadband uptake.
"Even if Apple launches a new streaming-TV service with original programming, that is potentially good news for cable companies compelled to provide even more indispensable broadband, for which they can charge more," Cuomo said in the report.
He went on to note that cable MSOs are taking a dual-pronged approach to their revenue model: raising ARPU on the video side despite continued video subscriber losses, and adding broadband subs. Overall, Moody's expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to grow 3% to 4% range through 2016.
"The industry has consistently raised prices, passing through rising programming costs and charging more for broadband services," he wrote. "Broadband generates much lower revenues than residential TV (roughly half, on average), but much higher margins and EBITDA per customer. In addition, the business is growing much faster than the rate of loss in video subscribers."