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US pay-TV sub decline slows

The 10 leading pay-TV services in the US managed to maintain more of their subscribers over the third quarter of 2015 according to informitv’s Multiscreen Index. Their combined subscriber losses were lower than some analysts had anticipated.

The top ten services in the US that report numbers recorded a total net loss of 128,400 subscribers over the quarter. Four of the top 10 services reported a net increase in subscribers.

Verizon once again made the greatest gains, adding 42,000 FiOS video customers. AT&T lost 92,000 U verse television subscribers.

DirecTV, now part of AT&T, added 26,000 over the quarter but has 633,000 fewer subscribers than a year previously, as a result of a change in the way it counts commercial customers.

DISH Network lost 23,000 subscribers, compared to a loss of 81,000 the previous quarter and 12,000 in the third quarter of 2014. The company includes its Sling TV customers in its subscriber numbers.

Comcast shed 48,000 television customers, which is its lowest loss in the third quarter for a decade.

Time Warner Cable lost 7,000, compared to a loss of 184,000 in the same quarter the previous year.

“The latest numbers suggest that television service providers in the United States are stemming subscriber losses,” says Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “The percentage change in subscriber numbers remains relatively small. The reality is that the top four cable or satellite providers still have over 66 million television customers between them.”

“At 25.42 million television customers, the combination of DIRECTV and AT&T now exceeds the 22.26 million subscribers of Comcast,” adds informitv analyst Dr Sue Farrell. “The mature American market is further consolidating, with Altice planning to take control of Cablevision and Suddenlink.”

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