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Top U.S. Pay-TV Providers Lost Nearly 1 Million Subs in 2016


LONDON: The top 10 pay-TV service providers in the U.S. lost 937,000 television customers between them in 2016, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index.

Collectively, the top 10 account for 88.69 million television customers. So that represents an annual subscriber loss of 1.05 percent. Yet the number of television subscribers to the top 10 services actually rose in the course of 2016, as a result of mergers and acquisitions.

Comcast gained 161,000 TV customers in 2016, with net additions in three of the four quarters, compared to a net loss of 36,000 over the previous year. DIRECTV added 1.23 million TV subscribers in the U.S., gaining every quarter, although the AT&T U-verse service of its parent company lost 1.36 million over the year. Verizon Fios shed 1.13 million television customers in 2016, largely through the transfer of 1.18 million customers to Frontier Communications in April. Verizon saw an organic gain of 59,000 over the year. Frontier gained 865,000 customers over the year, including those transferred from Verizon, without which it would have lost subscribers. Charter Spectrum and DISH Network both lost 226,000 subscribers in 2016. Optimum, Suddenlink and Mediacom also lost subscribers over the year.

“The names and rankings may change but despite losing nearly a million subscribers between them, the top 10 services have 1.54 million more television subscribers between them than the top 10 a year ago,” said informitv analyst Dr. Sue Farrell.

“Although they lost 1 percent of their subscriber base in 2016, these ten service providers still account for 75 percent of television homes in the United States,” added Dr. William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index.

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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