US multichannel subs drop by more than 1MN in 2015 | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from SNL Kagan has provided more evidence that cord-cutting is a real threat to the US pay-TV industry, highlighting a continued downward trajectory in multichannel subscriptions.

The analysis shows that despite a resurgence in cable subscriptions and solid direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) results, the combined cable, satellite and telco TV sectors lost more than a million video customers in 2015. This decline was more than four times that shown in 2014, and marked the third consecutive overall annual drop for the industry.

SNL Kagan calculates that by the end of 2015, residential subscriptions dropped to 96.7 million, including a 57,000 subscriber fall in Q4 and reaching a total fall of 1.1 million for the year. Multiple system operators (MSOs) in 2015 lost 599,000 total video customers, cable’s best performance since 2007 when the industry lost 458,000 customers. It was also the platform’s first drop of less than a million subs for seven years.

There was also bad news in the satellite sector where DBS players lost 478,000 subscribers during the year to total 33.1 million. This compared with a loss of 39,000 in 2014. The analyst found that the telco segment ended 2015 essentially flat, with downward pressure from AT&T's shift away from U-verse to the lower cost video platform of DIRECTV weighing on the overall platform’s performance.

However, there was a ray of light in the analysis. SNL Kagan estimates that the latter months of 2015 showed signs of stabilisation after steep losses for the better part of the year with losses of only 15,000 total customers in the three-month period ended 31 December 2015. This essentially matched the losses of fourth quarter 2014.