Comcast's recently-announced fourth quarter earnings show the company exceeding subscription expectations. Per Bloomberg: Comcast signed up 80,000 new cable-TV customers in the fourth quarter, which analysts estimate put them just over 2,000 of what was expected.
How it happened: Investors credit Comcast's cable set-top box platform, X1 for the growth. The new box lets subscribers search cable content alongside other subscriptions, like Netflix and HBO, all in one place.
Why it matters: Comcast's subscriber surge is noteworthy given the decline in paid cable television subscriptions overall. ESPN, for example, lost over two million subscribers in 2016 alone. You can see the steady decline over the past three years below.