The top pay-TV operators in the US added 101,000 new subscribers during the fourth quarter, but cord cutting remains a threat.

“Cord cutting remains a threat, and there are new options for consumers that have deployed during the first quarter of 2015, specifically the Sling TV service from Dish Network. We also expect to see more standalone services from HBO, Showtime, and others, so 2015 will be challenging for the traditional pay-TV vendors,” according to Jason Blackwell, director of service provider strategies, Strategy Analytics.

“2014 started and finished strong, with growth in pay-TV subscribers in both the first and fourth quarters.The middle of the year was a bit rough, with subscriber losses in the second and third quarters. Overall, the year was flat, with our tracked operators losing only 4,000 subscribers.”

The declining trend in pay-TV subscribers in North America, seen during the second and third quarters, reversed in the fourth quarter, with overall growth in both the US and Canada, according to the latest report from Strategy Analytics, Digital Television Operator Performance Benchmarking: North America.

The 19 tracked operators in the US added 101,000 subscribers while operators in Canada added 5,000. In the US, the increase in the fourth quarter brought the total tracked subscribers to 96.1 million, representing more than 95% of the total US market. Digital subscriber growth has continued throughout 2014, ending the year at nearly 95 million.