Q3 sees a 53K pay-TV subscriber loss across cable, satellite, IPTV

Michelle Clancy | 14-11-2012

The 13 largest traditional pay-TV providers in the US - representing about 94% of the market - lost about 53,500 net additional video subscribers in Q3 2012, mainly thanks to cable, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

This figure compares to a net gain of about 17,000 in Q3 2011, and a net loss of 28,000 in Q3 2010.
Not all the news is dark, however: over the past year, pay-TV video providers added about 305,000 subscribers, compared to a gain of about 250,000 during the previous year.
"With a fairly saturated market, the multi-channel video industry was essentially flat in the third quarter of 2012," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "This year's third quarter was in line with recent years, with about 70,000 more losses than a year ago, and about 25,000 more losses than two years ago."
The top multi-channel video providers account for about 94.6 million subscribers , with the top nine cable companies (Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Cablevision, Suddenlink, Cable ONE and private companies led by Cox and Bright House) claiming more than 51.6 million of them. Satellite TV companies DirecTV and DISH Network have a total of 34 million subscribers, and telcos (AT&T and Verizon) boast around 8.9 million video subscribers.
LRG found that the top nine cable companies lost about 420,000 video subscribers in Q3 2012, compared to a loss of about 505,000 subscribers in Q3 2011. In comparison, IPTV added 317,000 video subscribers in Q3 2012 compared to 307,000 net additions in Q3 2011, while satellite TV providers added 48,000 subscribers in Q3 2012 compared to a gain of 216,00 in Q3 2011.