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US pay-TV Q2: 10 leading services lose 663,000 subs

Ten leading pay-TV services in the US lost 663,000 subscribers between them in the second quarter of 2016, according to informitv Multiscreen Index. The second quarter is generally a weak season for television subscriptions but some operators managed to reduce their customer losses. These ten services lost 437,100 television customers in twelve months, which was less than 0.5 per cent of their combined subscriber base.

  • AT&T is the largest pay-television group in the Multiscreen Index, with 37.82 million television customers, 25.30 million of which are in the US. Its satellite subsidiary DirecTV gained 342,000 television customers in the US, while its U‑verse telco television service lost 391,000.
  • Comcast is the largest single service, reducing its television customer loss for the quarter to 4,000, ending the period with 22.40 million television subscribers.
  • Charter became the third largest provider, following the merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, with a total of 16.93 million television subscribers and a quarterly loss of 152,000.
  • Verizon FiOS television subscribers declined by 1,226,000, following the transfer of some markets to Frontier, which gained 1,085,000 and entered the top 10, although organic losses were 112,000.
  • Optimum and Suddenlink lost 2,000 and 23,000 respectively. Both are now owned by Altice, which now has 10.29 million subscribers worldwide.

“Mergers and acquisitions have reshaped the top 10 pay television services in the United States,” said Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “Our index shows how new players rank and tracks the overall subscriber trends.”

“DirecTV was the only company in the top 10 to report organic subscriber growth, although that was largely at the expense of AT&T U-verse,” added informitv analyst Dr Sue Farrell. “It’s been a turbulent quarter with some large losses but the real story is one of consolidation.”

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