Global pay-TV subs up 0.9% in Q2

The informitv Multiscreen Index of 100 leading pay-TV service providers saw an increase of just under four million subscribers worldwide in the second quarter of 2017. That is a gain of 0.9 per cent. The increase is very similar to the second quarter rise for the previous two years. It compares to a gain of 3.46 million in the first quarter of 2017.

The Asia Pacific region saw the greatest gains, adding 4.14 million. Most of these were in India, where seven operators added a total of 3.34 million between them. The Multiscreen Index does not include China as figures are not independently reported.

Modest gains of half a million subscribers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region were offset by a net loss of 690,000 in the Americas.

Sky, with 22.5 million customers across Europe, added 77,000 in the second quarter, 61,000 of which were in Germany, with 35,000 additions in the UK and Ireland. Orange gained 53,000 subscribers in France, taking its total to 6.74 million.

Only nine services from the US are now included in the index of 100 services worldwide. Cox is privately owned and does not provide subscriber numbers. Mediacom, the tenth largest provider, with 0.83 million subscribers, does not make it into the top 100. The other nine services in the US all lost subscribers in the second quarter, with a total net loss of 792,000 between them.

The largest loss in the index was from DISH Network, losing 196,000 subscribers, followed by AT&T U-verse down 195,000, and DirecTV losing 156,000.

The top ten services in the US have seen subscriber numbers fall for five consecutive quarters and seven of the last ten quarters.

However, the nine leading services in the US still have 85.29 million subscribers between them, compared to 87.51 million across the top 10 services two years previously.

The Multiscreen Index provides an indication of overall change in television subscriber numbers and a benchmark against which changes for particular services can be measured.

It shows that while services in the US have been progressively losing subscribers they still serve the vast majority of homes in the country.

The greatest gains have been developing markets like India, where further consolidation is expected.

The picture is more varied in Europe, where Sky is the largest operator and continues to make modest subscriber gains.

On average, the index has gained subscribers at a rate of 1.2 per cent a quarter, although this has fallen to below one percent a quarter over the last year as a result of losses in the US.

93 out of the 100 services in the index offer some form of multiscreen service, compared to 66 three years previously.

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