Comcast has been bleeding cable subscribers along with the rest of the TV industry — here’s how it plans to win them back

Matt Strauss, EVP Xfinity Services

Michael Seto/Business Insider

  • Comcast, along with the rest of the pay-TV industry, continues to bleed cable subscribers.
  • While some companies have dropped prices to stymie customer churn, that’s not a solution for Comcast, Matt Strauss, EVP of Xfinity Services, told Business Insider.
  • Instead, Comcast plans to win back customers by differentiating its products with price and skinnier bundles.

The linear TV business has suffered as people cut the cord and get their entertainment fix from streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. Comcast lost 344,000 subscribers in 2018, nearly double the 186,000 it lost the year before.

Comcast isn’t giving up on video, though, Matt Strauss, EVP of Xfinity Services, Comcast’s consumer brand comprising broadband, video, and voice, told Business Insider. Instead, it plans to win back customers by developing even skinnier bundles and slicing up product offerings. That means innovating past the traditional “triple play” of bundling broadband, video, and phone, and introducing more price points, Strauss said.

Some want fast internet and a light video bundle while others want to use a connected-TV device rather a Comcast set-top box. Some want to use all their devices while others just want to watch video on their phones, he said.

Comcast also will test different price points but won’t offer deep discounts at the expense of profitability, he said.

“Our strategy is very focused on segmentation and getting more sophisticated in putting together the right video offering for the right customer at the right time in their life,” Strauss said.

Read more:Industry experts think NBCU may have the winning formula when it comes to its free streaming serviceComcast also plans to get more sophisticated about how it uses sales channels. People who come via digital channels respond to different offers than those who call customer service, for example, according to Strauss.

Comcast’s commitment to video may surprise those who predict that cable operators will withdraw from the video business to focus on the higher-margin broadband business.

When users drop their video service, cable providers lose the revenue associated with that customer, but they can also reduce their programming costs.

“We continue to be very bullish on video, but you’re just going to see us be more focused on how we go to market with video,” Strauss said.

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