Comcast May Soon Lose Its No.1 World Ranking

The LA Times reports:

Comcast Corp. remained the world’s largest pay-TV provider last year with nearly 22 million subscribers, but the Philadelphia-based giant soon could lose that bragging right to an Asian company.

Explosive growth in the number of pay-TV customers in Asia comes as U.S.-based cable companies have struggled to hold on to video customers in an increasingly splintered market.

Comcast last year just edged out China’s Jiangsu Broadcasting Cable Information Network, the top multichannel provider in the Asia Pacific region with nearly 21 million customers, according to a report released Monday by SNL Kagan.

But of course, Comcast does more than just TV. The Times added: “Comcast has more broadband subscribers — more than 19.4 million — than any other North American firm.”

Comcast, meanwhile  continues to forecast a rosy future:

Comcast remains “very optimistic” about the financial upside of NBCUniversal, including from ratings and retransmission consent fee revenue at NBC and Spanish-language arm Telemundo, CFO Michael Angelakis said here Tuesday.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Global Telecom & Media Conference, he also said NBCUniversal remains confident that content companies would prevail in their litigation against Aereo, which provides over-the-air TV programming online and is funded by the likes of Barry Diller, and Dish’s Autohop, which allows users to skip commercials in primetime shows a few days after the show aired.

“Technology here is somewhat short-sighted” and is about “stealing signals and not paying for content,” he said. “We are confident that this litigation will prevail.”

So: Big and lucrative. Just not the very biggest anymore. It happens.