Advanced Television

US pay-TV loses 1.2m subs in Q3

November 17, 2017

Legacy multichannel customer defections in the US accelerated in the quarter ending September 30th, coming in just shy of the 1.2 million mark to bring year-to-date losses to 2.9 million according to data compiled by Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The combined cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) and telecommunications multichannel subscriptions fell to 94.9 million at the end of the period, including 91.7 million residential customers, for a 74.8 per cent residential multichannel penetration.

Additional findlings from Kagan’s report: 

  • Cable operators lost approximately 801,000 total video customers. In the first nine months of 2017, total losses were up 114 per cent over the same interval in 2016.
  • The telco platform logged its ninth consecutive quarter of video customer erosion, with losses coming in at approx. 184,000. AT&T’s emphasis on DirecTV NOW is weighing heavily on the company’s legacy multichannel products, including U-verse, which accounted for 73.5 per cent of the sector decline during the period.
  • Traditional satellite services were down an aggregate approx. 618,000 subscribers, accounting for 53 per cent of the universe’s losses.
  • Adding the top two virtual service providers (VSPs) affiliated with legacy multichannel distributors –DISH Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV NOW – reduces the sector’s calculated quarterly losses to approx. 635,000.

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