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Verizon loses 84k TV subs as lockdown hits new additions

US telco Verizon lost 84,000 Fios TV subscribers in the first quarter, which the company said reflected the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings.

Speaking to analysts CFO Matt Ellis said that “Fios video net losses accelerated for the quarter, and we expect cord cutting trends to continue”.

Ellis said that the lockdown would also have a negative impact by preventing installations in customer homes “except for critical functions”.

“Gross adds are currently limited to those that can be performed directly by the customer or with the technician working outside the home,” he said.

Hans Vestberg

Answering an analyst query on this, CEO Hans Vestberg daid that the company had recently innovated so we can start installing Fios without going into the homes with what we call the Fios in the box, which is where the customer installs themselves”.

Verizon has also introduced a ‘virtual agent’ to help with the self-install process.

More positively, Fios internet customers increased by 59,000. However, Verizon also saw its post-paid phone base decline by 525,000.

The company said that demand for bandwidth had grown rapidly during the lockdown period, with bandwidth use for video streaming up 40% and use for gaming up 200%.

Overall, the company posted revenues of US$31.6 billion, down 1.6%, primarily due to declines in wireless equipment sales due to the coronavirus lockdown’s impact on stores. Consumer revenues were US$21.8 billion, down 1.7%.

Revenues for Verizon Media were down 4% to US$1.7 billion under the impact of the coronavirus on advertising.

Tags: US, Verizon