Comcast Broadband Growth Wanes As Wireless Shines In 2022

Broadband subscription rates felt the sting of economic pressures in 2022 on the consumer side, but business use continues to climb thanks to demand for more advanced connectivity services. Another growth driver for the cable giant is Xfinity Mobile, Comcast’s five-year-old wireless segment that once again posted its highest number of subscriber gains in Q4 2022.


Comcast will continue to pump money into its broadband and wireless businesses in 2023, despite slowing broadband subscriber growth in 2022, according to the cable giant’s CEO Brian Roberts.

Sluggish internet subscriber rates have been shaped in part by the economic climate and consumer behavior, but Comcast’s business users are driving growth and demand for faster and more advanced connectivity services, as evidenced by its successful Masergy acquisition, the Philadelphia-based company said.

“We’ve found the right mix of cutting costs to drive efficiencies and investing for our future,” Roberts said during the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call on Thursday. “We have always maintained an intense focus on providing the absolute best products and experiences, which comes down to having the highest capacity, most reliable, most efficient broadband network.”

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Comcast’s Business segment pulled in $2.44 billion during the third quarter, representing 4.6 percent growth compared with $2.34 billion during 2022’s fourth quarter. The company attributed the growth to an increase in the number of customers receiving faster Comcast services and from the Masergy acquisition.

Comcast closed its Masergy acquisition on October 8.

The cable giant’s business customer relationships increased by 2,510 during Q4 2022 and 21,000 for the full 2022 year.

Comcast’s wireless segment, which includes its Xfinity Mobile offering, continued to be an area of high growth for the company, climbing 24.7 percent to $883 million compared with $709 million in the same quarter last year. Xfinity Mobile a year ago reached profitability on a stand-alone basis for the first time since it was launched. Roberts referred to the wireless business as a “strong growth driver” in 2023.

The company added 365,000 new wireless lines in the quarter—the highest number of net additions for any quarter to date. Comcast added 1.3 million lines during the full 2022 year and now has more than 5 million lines in total since the company launched Xfinity Mobile five years ago.

Comcast’s Cable Communications unit—which includes high-speed internet, voice, video, wireless and business services—saw a 1.4 percent increase during the fourth quarter of 2022. The segment generated revenue of $16.64 billion compared with $16.41 billion in fourth-quarter 2021. Broadband posted a revenue increase of 5.4 percent to $6.18 billion, up from $5.86 billion a year ago. The company attributed the growth to price increases and more customers receiving Comcast’s services.

Comcast’s Cable Communications’ total customer relationships decreased by 71,000 to 34.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. The company attributed the overall customer relationship declines in part to the negative impact from Hurricane Ian in its footprint. Without factoring in the hurricane, Comcast estimated total customer relationships decreased by 36,000.

In 2022, Comcast Cable total customer relationships increased by 75,000.

For the fourth quarter of 2022 that ended December 31, Comcast reported revenue of $30.55 billion, a modest .7 percent increase compared with fourth-quarter 2021’s result of $30.34 billion. The cable giant posted adjusted earnings per share of 82 cents, up 6.5 percent compared with 77 cents per share for the same quarter of 2021.

For the full 2022 year, Comcast posted total operating revenues of $121.43 billion, up 4.3 percent from $116.36 billion in 2021. The carrier reported adjusted earnings per share of $3.64 compared to $3.23 adjusted earnings per share in 2021, an increase of 12.7 percent.

Michael Cavanagh, Comcast’s current president and former CFO, oversaw the company’s finances during the final quarter of the year. Jason Armstrong, Comcast’s former deputy CFO since 2014, was promoted to CFO of the company on January 6.