Advanced Television

SNL Kagan: Video erosion cuts into US subs totals

November 15, 2016

The US multichannel segment produced a drop in third quarter video customers that was slightly worse year-over-year (YOY), according to analyst firm SNL Kagan.

SNL Kagan estimates the combined cable, Direct-broadcast-satellite (DBS) and telco sectors lost 430,000 video customers during the period. DBS ended in positive territory, but telco again weighed heavily on the multichannel universe. Meanwhile, the cable sector continues to show progress in mitigating losses.

For the space, the third-quarter decline brings the year-to-date drop to 1.3 million: the largest ever through the first nine months of the year.

Additional highlights from SNL Kagan’s 3rd-quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:

  • Cable operators lost 94,000 total video customers: the platform’s best third-quarter performance since 2006. For the nine months ended September 30th, the sector cut the 2015 decline in half. For the interval, this is the industry’s best results since 2007.
  • DBS gained 46,000 subscribers, benefiting from AT&T’s strategic shift away from U-verse and towards DirecTV. The segment now is in position to deliver gains for the year.
  • The planned wind down of AT&T U-verse continues to pressure telco subscriptions, down an aggregate 382,000 in the third quarter. Year-to-date, multichannel video subscribers served by the telco segment are down nearly 1.2 million.
  • Factoring in the estimated 925,000 customers for DISH Network’s Sling TV service, the trailing twelve-month multichannel decline is reduced to 822,000.

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