Pay-TV providers lose record numbers of video subs in Q2
Details
Michelle Clancy
| 13 August 2019

The largest pay-TV providers in the US – representing about 93% of the market – lost about 1.53 million net video subscribers in 2Q 2019, compared with a pro forma net loss of about 420,000 subscribers the year before.

According to Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG), the top pay-TV providers now account for about 86.6 million subscribers. The top seven cable companies having 46.5 million video subscribers Comcast, Charter, Cox, Altice, Mediacom, CABLE One and Atlantic Broadband; satellite TV services (DirecTV and DISH) had 27.5 million subscribers; the top telcos (Verizon, AT&T and Frontier) had 8.8 million subscribers; and the top publicly reporting internet-delivered pay-TV services (Sling TV and DirecTV Now) had 3.8 million subscribers.

Satellite TV services lost about 855,000 subscribers in 2Q 2019 – compared to a net loss of about 480,000 subscribers in 2Q 2018. DIRECTV had record net losses for the fifth consecutive quarter, while DISH TV had fewer net losses than in any quarter since 4Q 2014.

The top seven cable companies lost about 455,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2019 – compared to a loss of about 275,000 subscribers in 2Q 2018. Cable net losses were more than in any quarter since 2Q 2014
The top telephone providers lost about 100,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2019 – compared to a loss of about 45,000 subscribers in 2Q 2018. And internet-delivered services, Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW, lost 120,000 subscribers in 2Q 2019 – compared to about 385,000 net adds in 2Q 2018.

Over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 5 million subscribers – compared to a loss of about 1.1 million subscribers over the prior year. Over the past year, DBS services lost about 3,175,000 subscribers – compared to a loss of about 1.6 subscribers over the prior year. Over the past year, publicly reporting vMVPDs lost about 340,000 subscribers – compared to a gain of 1.8 million subscribers over the prior year.

“The top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 1.53 subscribers in 2Q 2019. This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of record pay-TV industry net losses,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “With an increased focus on acquiring and retaining profitable subscribers, DBS services accounted for more than half of the net pay-TV losses in 2Q 2019, and 63% of the losses over the past year.”