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Google Fiber’s Pay TV Service Is Struggling To Grow

The service had less than 54,000 pay TV subscribers at the end of 2015—and growth is slowing.

Google Fiber’s Pay TV Service Is Struggling To Grow
[Photo: Flickr user Paul Sableman]

Research firm MoffettNathanson has issued a scathing report saying Alphabet is having serious subscriber and growth issues with the pay TV service part of its Google Fiber offerings, reports Re/code. The report says Fiber had just 53,390 pay TV subscribers at the end of 2015. That’s up from 30,000 at the end of 2014, but growth is slowing. In the last six months of 2014, Fiber’s pay TV service grew 136%, but in the last six months of 2015 it only grew 78.8%.

It’s important to note that those numbers do not take into account Fiber’s broadband numbers, which Alphabet is not required to, and does not, report to the government. Still, the slowing growth of Fiber’s pay TV service isn’t good news for Google. As MoffettNathanson notes, at only 54,000 customers, that puts the Internet giant’s pay TV service at just one-seventh the size of the next smallest cable business the firm tracks.

"One can’t help but feel that all of this has the flavor of a junior science fair," the report says, adding "As ever, Google’s presence in the press and inside the Beltway (and in investors’ minds) is wildly out of all proportion to its actual size."

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