More customers are dropping cable TV as they turn toward streaming services like Netflix Inc., a fundamental shift in consumer behavior that was on display this week in painful earnings reports from cable and telecommunications companies.
Charter Communications Inc., CHTR +0.53% the third-largest U.S. pay-TV provider by subscribers, said Friday it lost 122,000 video customers in the first quarter, a far worse outcome than the roughly 40,000 subscriber losses Wall Street analysts expected. In the year-earlier period, Charter lost 100,000 customers.
The results triggered a selloff that sent Charter shares down 12%, the stock’s largest single-day percentage decline since 2009. They follow similarly negative subscriber reports on cord-cutting this week from bigger rivals, Comcast Corp. CMCSA -0.45% and AT&T Inc. T -0.39%