Q1 2018 Multiscreen Index shows lowest quarterly pay-TV subs increase | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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Operator consolidation in Asia has driven an apparent loss of just over five million subscribers or 1.14% in the first quarter of 2018 according to the latest Multiscreen Index.

multiscreenindex 9July2018The informitv research of 100 leading multichannel TV and video services which collectively account for around 430 million subscribing homes worldwide found that fewer than half of global TV services report subs gains in Q1 2018. This it said was partly due to the merger of Dish TV and Videocon d2h in India who had previously reported a total 29.51 million subscribers between them. informitv calculates that after merging in March, the enlarged Dish TV had 6.90 million more subscribers than it had the previous quarter, although the research showed that overall there appeared to be an apparent loss of 6.51 million from the previous combined total.

Excluding Dish TV and Videocon d2h, the index rose by just 1.49 million subscribers, or 0.36%, which is the lowest quarterly increase that informitv says that it has seen. The average quarterly gain over the previous three years has been around 4.5 million, or 1.15%.

Dish TV in India is now the leading pay-TV firm in the Multiscreen Index with 23.00 million subscribers, ahead of American operators Comcast with 21.21 million and DIRECTV with 20.27 million. AT&T still has more subscribers overall in the United States, with a total of 25.32 million when including U-verse and DIRECTV NOW. AT&T has the largest number of subscribers as a group, with 38.89 million across the Americas, up by 93,000.

informitv also found that subscriber numbers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region rose by just 0.19 million in the first quarter, with the top 10 losing 112,000 between them, despite gains from Sky, Rostelcom and Cyfrowy Polsat. Sky has 22.90 million customers across Europe, an increase of 38,000. The largest loss was for Canal+ International, which shed 212,000 subscribers in the quarter.

In terms of platform, the index showed that satellite services in the United States continued to see subscriber losses, with DIRECTV losing 188,000, and DISH Network losing 185,000. The top 10 services in the United States lost 212,000 subscribers in the quarter, with only three of them reporting gains. The largest of these was from the online service DIRECTV NOW, which added 336,000 subscribers, taking its total to 1.42 million. Sling TV from DISH Network added 91,000, for a total of 2.30 million. Satellite now has a total of 182.12 million subscribers.

Online distribution now has a total of 3.71 million online subscribers in the index it is far smaller than satellite. However, informitv stressed that its categorisation does not include multichannel services like YouTube TV, NOW TV in the UK. It also excludes Netflix, which has 55.09 million paid subscribers in the US and a further 63.82 million elsewhere.

“Traditional television subscriber numbers are flat or falling for some services and tracking them through mergers and acquisitions, together with changes in reporting methodologies is increasingly complex,” observed Multiscreen Index editor William Cooper. “Only 48 of the 100 services in the index reported subscriber gains in the first quarter. That does not include some services that only report figures once or twice a year.”