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US pay-TV: 10,000 Q1 net adds

According to the Leichtman Research Group, the thirteen largest pay-TV providers in the US – representing about 95 per cent of the market – added about 10,000 net video subscribers in Q1 2016, compared to a gain of about 170,000 subscribers in Q1 2015.

The top pay-TV providers account for 94.2 million subscribers – with the top nine cable companies having 49.1 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having 34 million subscribers (including about 665,000 from DISH’s Internet-delivered Sling TV), and the top telephone companies having 11.1 million subscribers.

Other key findings for the quarter include:

  • The top nine cable companies added about 50,000 video subscribers in Q1 2016 – compared to a loss of about 65,000 subscribers in Q1 2015
  • Top cable MSOs had not reported net gains in a first quarter since 2008
  • Satellite TV providers added 305,000 subscribers in Q1 2016 (including gains from Sling TV) -compared to a gain of 95,000 in Q1 2015
  • Not including gains from Sling TV, DBS providers added about 175,000 subscribers in Q1 2016 – compared to a loss of 74,000 in Q1 2015
  • DirecTV’s net adds of 328,000 in Q1 2016 were more than in any quarter since Q1 2009
  • The top phone providers lost 344,000 video subscribers in Q1 2016 – compared to a gain of 140,000 subscribers in Q1 2015
  • AT&T U-verse’s 380,000 net losses in Q1 2016 were the most losses ever in a quarter by any provider

“While DirecTV and top cable providers had a comparatively strong quarter in Q1 2016, their gains were largely offset by a historically weak quarter for AT&T U-verse,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. “Overall, the traditionally strong first quarter for the pay-TV industry was tepid this year. Despite slight gains in the quarter, net adds in Q1 2016 were down by about 160,000 from a year ago.”

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