The results are in when it comes to pay-TV figures for the second quarter of 2014. Leichtman Research Group found that the 13 largest pay-TV providers in the US – representing about 95% of the market – lost around 300,000 net video subscribers in the quarter, compared to a loss of about 350,000 video subscribers a year earlier.
The top pay-TV providers account for nearly 95.5 million subscribers – with the top nine cable companies having 49.9 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having 34.3 million subscribers, and the top telephone companies having about 11.3 million subscribers.
As usual, all sectors are not created equal when it comes to churn. The top nine cable companies lost about 510,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2014 – but this represents the fewest losses in any second quarter since 2009. Cable ONE was the biggest loser, and lost 6.5% of all cable subscribers in 2Q 2014 – the highest percentage of losses in one quarter by any top provider in the past decade.
Satellite TV providers made up some ground and lost 78,000 subscribers in Q2 2014, compared to a loss of 162,000 in the same quarter in 2013.
And finally, IPTV companies – notably AT&T and Verizon Communications – added 290,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2014. That's slightly down compared to 373,000 net additions in Q2 2013.
"The top pay-TV providers lost about 300,000 subscribers in the traditionally weak second quarter, but cumulative net losses in 2Q 2014 were slightly fewer than in any second quarter since 2Q 2010," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. "Over the past year, the top pay-TV providers actually had a small net gain of about 20,000 subscribers, compared to a cumulative net loss of about 70,000 subscribers over the prior year."