Findings from analyst firm Leichtman Research Group suggest that the largest pay-TV providers in the US – representing about 95 per cent of the market – lost about 4,915,000 net video subscribers in 2019, compared to a pro forma loss of about 1,585,000 subscribers in 2018.
The top pay-TV providers account for 86.2 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having 45.8 million video subscribers, satellite TV services 25.4 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 8.3 million subscribers, and the top three publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services 6.7 million subscribers.
Key findings include:
“Overall, the top pay-TV providers lost 5.4 per cent of subscribers in 2019 compared to a loss of 1.7 per cent in 2018,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. “The significant increase in pay-TV net losses in 2019 was both a function of consumers having more video options, and the decisions by AT&T and other providers to increasingly focus on long-term profitability in acquiring and retaining subscribers.”
|Pay-TV Providers||Subscribers at end of 4Q 2019||Net Adds in 2019|
|Total Top Cable||45,774,838||(1,559,961)|
|Satellite Services (DBS)|
|Total Top Phone||8,329,000||(664,000)|
|Hulu + Live TV||3,200,000||1,500,000|
|AT&T TV NOW||926,000||(665,000)|
|Total Top vMVPD^^||6,718,000||1,010,000|
|Total Top Providers||86,248,838||(4,913,961)|
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* LRG estimate
** Cable One total includes the acquisition of Fidelity Communications, and an LRG estimate of pro forma results
^ AT&T combines totals for DirecTV and U-verse into “Premium TV” – separate results are LRG estimates
^^ vMVPD now includes Hulu + Live TV, but does not include YouTube TV or others that do not publicly report subscribers
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top pay-TV providers represent approximately 95 per cent of all subscribers
Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and the addition of new providers to the list – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings