The top 10 television service providers in the US gained 84,600 subscribers in the last quarter of 2017, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index. It was a mixed picture, with only three of these services reporting gains. These were driven by growth in online television services, while traditional platforms continued a trend of slow quarterly losses.
The DirecTV NOW online service added over a third of a million customers in the quarter and 855,000 over the year, for a total of over a million. It is now reported as a distinct multichannel service in the Multiscreen Index. DISH Network broke out figures for its Sling TV offering for the first time, accounting for well over two million, up by 711,000 in a year to around a sixth of its subscriber base. If the company continues to report separate quarterly numbers Sling TV would qualify as a distinct service and rank eighth, just below Optimum cable.
“Sling TV and DirecTV NOW are adding significant numbers of online subscribers but overall the traditional platforms are slowly leaking television customers,” noted Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “These two online services currently only represent 4% of the television subscribers to the top 10 services in the United States as ranked in the Multiscreen Index.”
The top 10 services have 85.23 million television customers between them, accounting for over 70% of television homes in the US.