The top ten pay-TV services in the United States that report numbers recorded a total net loss of 128,400 subscribers over the third quarter.
According to the informitv Multiscreen Index, this means the services managed to maintain more of their subscribers over Q3 2015 than expected; and, four of the top ten services reported a net increase in subscribers.
Verizon once again made the greatest gains , adding 42,000 FiOS video customers. IPTV compatriot AT&T, however, lost 92,000 U-verse television subscribers. But this worked out for the telco because the just-acquired DirecTV added 26,000 over the quarter. Overall though DirecTV has 633,000 fewer subscribers than a year previously as a result of a change in the way it counts commercial customers.
"At 25.42 million television customers, the combination of DIRECTV and AT&T now exceeds the 22.26 million subscribers of Comcast," adds informitv analyst Sue Farrell. "The mature American market is further consolidating, with Altice planning to take control of Cablevision and Suddenlink."
DISH Network meanwhile lost 23,000 subscribers, compared to a loss of 81,000 the previous quarter and 12,000 in the third quarter of 2014. The company includes its Sling TV customers in its subscriber numbers.
On the cable side, Comcast shed 48,000 television customers, which is its lowest loss in the third quarter for a decade. Similarly, Time Warner Cable lost 7,000, compared to a loss of 184,000 in the same quarter the previous year.
"The latest numbers suggest that television service providers in the United States are stemming subscriber losses," said William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. "The percentage change in subscriber numbers remains relatively small. The reality is that the top four cable or satellite providers still have over 66 million television customers between them."
With some quarterly results still to be reported, the Multiscreen Index of 100 leading services worldwide once again indicates an overall gain in subscribers, particularly in emerging markets.