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Multiscreen Index: Europe Starts to Show Pay-TV Subscriber Losses


The informitv Multiscreen Index of 100 leading subscription TV service providers shows a net loss of 2.09 million subs worldwide in the third quarter of 2019.

The report shows 1.88 million subs were lost in the Americas, while the EMEA region showed a loss of 0.66 million. The Asia Pacific showed a small gain of 0.46 million.

The top ten service providers in the United States lost 1.67 million TV subscribers between them in the third quarter of 2019, with a cumulative loss of 5.53 million in 12 months—though they still have 78.73 million between them. In Europe, Sky had a net loss of subscribers for the first time, losing 98,000 across the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, having gained 304,000 in the previous quarter, leaving it with 23.92 million.

The largest losses were for AT&T Premium TV, which includes DIRECTV and U-Verse customers, with a loss of 1.16 million in Q3, leaving it with 20.42 million television subscribers (fractionally fewer than Comcast). Comcast, which now owns Sky, has 44.34 million television customers worldwide, putting it ahead of AT&T with 34.87 million.

The largest gain was by Vodafone Germany, following the acquisition of Unitymedia from Liberty Global. It now claims 13.71 million TV subscribers (although these include around 4.7 million basic cable customers that were not previously included in the Index).

Of the 100 services in the Multiscreen Index, 41 reported subscriber gains, but these were offset by losses elsewhere, resulting in a net loss of 0.46 percent of the total subscriber base in the third quarter.

“Although some operators are losing television subscribers, the Multiscreen Index puts this in context,” noted its editor, Dr. William Cooper. “Despite some subscriber attrition, corporate consolidation is creating some very large players with economies of scale. With substantial recurring revenues, they can still afford to lose some customers.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at [email protected]


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