The total number of TV subscribers to the 100 leading services in the informitv Multiscreen Index fell by 110,000 in the third quarter of 2018, marking the first worldwide quarterly decline to date.
Overall, subs were down by 0.02 percent, with just 43 out of 100 services reporting gains—which is the fewest seen so far.
While there was a decline of just over 1 million subs across North, Central and South America, the number of subscribers also fell for the first time in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, by 310,000. There was a gain of 1.22 million in the Asia Pacific, led by an increase of 200,000 at Dish TV in India, which with a total of 23.5 million leads the world ranking in the Multiscreen Index in terms of subscriber numbers.
Cable lost 220,000 subscribers while satellite lost 900,000. Telco television gained 920,000. Online services Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW added 26,000 and 63,000, with totals of 2.37 million and 1.81 million, respectively.
The largest loss was for Canal+ International, which fell by 608,000 subscribers following the football World Cup, taking its total to 6.93 million, although it was up 726,000 year on year. The greatest gain was for Türk Telekom in Turkey, with an increase of 266,000 to a total of 3.53 million, including satellite, telco and Tivibu Go subscribers, up from 2.51 million a year prior.
“Our Multiscreen Index shows a slight fall in television subscriber numbers worldwide for the first time, following average quarterly growth of 1 percent over recent years,” said editor Dr. William Cooper. “The third calendar quarter tends to be weaker. The key question is whether the next quarter will show a recovery or continuing decline.”