Nine Out of Ten U.S. Pay-TV Services Lost Subs in Q2


LONDON: The top ten pay-TV services in the U.S. shed more than 400,000 digital television subscribers between them in the second quarter, with the decline in subs now offsetting a small gain earlier in the year.

According to the informitv Multiscreen Index, nine out of the top ten services in the country lost subscribers in Q2. DIRECTV lost the most television customers in the U.S., falling by 133,000 to 20.28 million. This was offset by gains from the PanAmericana operation, increasing the DIRECTV group total by 34,000 to 33.14 million.

AT&T reported a net loss of 23,000 television subscribers for its U-verse service. With the acquisition of DIRECTV, AT&T now has a combined total of 26.23 million television subscribers in the U.S. DISH Network lost 81,000 subs, after including its Sling TV service, which had 169,000 subscribers at the end of March, ending June with a total of 13.93 million. Comcast shed 69,000 television subscribers, ending June with 22.31 million—151,000 less than a year ago.

Time Warner Cable lost 45,000 subscribers, with a total loss of 237,000 over 12 months, taking its total to 10.77 million. Charter, Cablevision, Mediacom and Suddenlink lost more than 75,000 subscribers between them, with a total loss of more than 242,000 from a year ago.

Verizon was the only operator to gain, adding 26,000 television subscribers—though that represented the smallest quarterly increase since the service launched.

“With regular reports of television subscriber losses, it appears that many of these services are struggling to maintain customer numbers in a mature competitive market,” says Dr. William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “The figures must be viewed in perspective. The overall loss is less than 0.5 percent of their combined subscriber base.”