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Charter’s Spectrum TV business erodes, wireless customers spike

The uptick in wireless customers comes as Spectrum TV continues to loses subscribers.

The uptick in wireless customers comes as Spectrum TV continues to loses subscribers.

A still frame from a promotional video for Charter's Spectrum Mobile telephone service. (Image courtesy Charter Communications, Graphic by The Desk)
A still frame from a promotional video for Charter’s Spectrum Mobile telephone service. (Image courtesy Charter Communications, Graphic by The Desk)

Charter Communications saw its pay TV business erode by 815,000 customers over the past 12 months, the company revealed during its quarterly earnings report on Friday.

The report showed Charter’s Spectrum TV customer base dropped to 14.906 million during the first three months of the year (Q1 2023), down 5.2 percent from the 15.721 million pay TV subscribers it had during Q1 2022. The data reflected both residential and small business video connections.

Residential pay TV customers dropped to 14.260 million, down 5.5 percent from the 15.093 million reported during Q1 2022. The loss was offset slightly by a gain in small business video customers, which rose to 646,000 connections, an annual increase of 2.8 percent.

The erosion of Charter’s pay TV business also impacted its landline-based phone service, with the company reporting an 11.7 percent decline in overall customers to its Spectrum Voice service. Total lines were reported at 7.473 million, down from 8.465 million Charter claimed last year.

While Pay TV and voice lines declined, Charter saw a boom in customers paying for its Spectrum Mobile wireless service, which operates on Verizon’s network. The number of Spectrum Mobile residential wireless lines jumped 51.9 percent over the last 12 months, with Charter reporting 5.782 million customers. Factoring in small business wireless lines, Charter now has 5.978 million customers paying for Spectrum Mobile, an annual increase of 51.8 percent.

“In the first quarter, we made significant progress on our three key initiatives: Evolution, expansion and execution,” Chris Winfrey, the president and CEO of Charter, said in a statement on Friday. “Our customer-first strategy is focused on delivering a differentiated, converged connectivity product that delivers the fastest speeds and saves customers money, while simultaneously driving growth and creating long-term value for Charter shareholders.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).