Although its cable revenues generally held steady in the third quarter, Rogers Communications surprisingly picked up much fewer broadband and IPTV customers over the summer even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage throughout Canada.
In Q3 results released late last week, Rogers reported netting a mere 16,000 broadband customers during the summer quarter, less than half the 41,000 subs it added in the same period a year earlier. As a result, it closed out September with 2.57 million broadband subs, up 67,000 from a year ago.
Similarly, on the IPTV end, Rogers reported adding just 38,000 subscribers for its cloud-based Ignite TV service, down from 66,000 in the year-ago period. That lifted the sub total for Ignite TV, a licensed version of Comcast's X1 service, to 473,000, up from 220,000 a year earlier.
Despite the year-over-year declines in broadband and IPTV sub growth, Rogers executives pronounced themselves pleased with the results on their quarterly earnings call with analysts last Thursday (October 22). They stressed that while the numbers were down markedly from a year ago, they were notably up from the second quarter.
"Homes passed and customer relationships each grew year-over-year and sequentially," said Rogers CFO Tony Staffieri. "While Internet and Ignite TV net additions were down, they both recovered from Q2" levels.
Rogers officials also promoted the high speeds they are delivering over their HFC network, which has now been fully upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1 and the ability to deliver 1-gig speeds. They noted earlier last week network testing specialist Ookla named Rogers as the Internet provider with the fastest speeds in Canada and the best consistent performance nationally.
Looking towards the future, Rogers executives said they "remain focused on our Connected Home roadmap, driven by our Ignite TV product." They said the next steps on that roadmap include adding more apps and content to Ignite TV and launching more new products.
For more on Rogers' Q3 results, please turn to this story on our sister site, Light Reading: Rogers recovers financial footing in Q3.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading