It seems that the network providers in the US are finding real traction with their IPTV services, with AT&T's Uverse adding 264,000 in the last quarter of 2008 and Verizon adding 303,000 for Fios TV in the same timescale. These are truly impressive statistics, which probably show how bad US TV was until the advent of broadband.
If my Time Warner cable service in New York City up to a couple of years ago was anything to go by, jumping on the IPTV bandwagon would be a no brainer.
Here's the spiel from the Verizon disclosure:
Record FiOS Customer Growth at Wireline
Verizon Wireline reported record growth in the number of new customers of FiOS TV and FiOS Internet, and it continued to increase sales of enterprise strategic services year over year. In the fourth quarter (with prior-period comparisons adjusted to reflect the impact of the spinoff of non-strategic Wireline assets):
Verizon added 303,000 net new FiOS TV customers, compared with 226,000 in the fourth quarter 2007. The company had 1.9 million FiOS TV customers at year-end 2008, adding nearly 1 million FiOS TV customers since year-end 2007.
FiOS TV sales penetration (sales as a percentage of potential customers) increased to 20.8 percent, compared with 16.0 percent in the fourth quarter 2007. FiOS TV service was available for sale to 9.2 million premises by year-end 2008. This represented a 57 percent increase in the availability of FiOS TV -- and, by extension, of "triple play" bundles of FiOS TV, Internet and voice services -- since year-end 2007.
Verizon added 282,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, compared with 244,000 in the fourth quarter 2007. The company had nearly 2.5 million FiOS Internet customers at year-end 2008, adding nearly 1 million FiOS Internet customers since year-end 2007.
FiOS Internet sales penetration increased to 24.9 percent, compared with 20.7 percent in the fourth quarter 2007. FiOS Internet was available for sale to nearly 10 million premises by year-end 2008.
Broadband and video revenues from consumer customers totaled nearly $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter 2008 -- representing year-over-year quarterly growth of 42.0 percent.
Growing revenue from broadband and video services drove consumer ARPU in legacy Verizon wireline markets (which excludes consumer markets served by the former MCI) to $68.46 for the fourth quarter 2008, a 14.3 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter 2007.
Sales of strategic business services -- such as IP (Internet protocol), managed services, Ethernet and optical ring services -- generated $1.5 billion in revenue in the quarter, up 8.4 percent from the fourth quarter 2007.
Impressive, but both services only pass just over 10% of homes in the US and the figures belie that many areas of the US still resemble the third world and rural areas are poorly catered for in everything except gunstores. Underlying these disclosures is the growth of the digital divide and yet another challenge for the Obama presidency.