US pay-TV loses 1.2m subs in Q3

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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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