Top ten US pay-TV providers lose 358,000 subs in Q2 2018 | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest informitv Multiscreen Index has shown that the tough times rumbled on for the US pay-TV industry during the second quarter of this year with continuing loss of satellite-based customers, while online services made small gains.
fios 1 august 2018
While overall the leading ten providers shed 358,000 subscribers, 0.43% of their combined subscribers. This compared with 373,000 in the previous quarter and a marked improvement on the same quarter in 2017, when the top 10 lost 792,000 subscribers, or 0.91% of their base. informitv calculated that the top 10 services for the United States in the Multiscreen Index now have 83.56 million television customers between them, accounting for slightly less than 70% of television homes. Subscriber numbers are as reported by service providers, rather than analyst estimates. Cox Communications is not included in the top 10 as it does not report subscriber numbers.

In the quarter, satellite TV providers bore the brunt of the bad news with DIRECTV and DISH Network losing 478,000 subscribers between them. DIRECTV lost 286,000 satellite television subscribers, compared with 188,000 in the previous quarter and 156,000 in the second quarter the previous year, falling just below 20 million customers. DISH Network lost 192,000 satellite television subscribers, compared to 185,000 the previous quarter, although it lost 196,000 in the second quarter the previous year.

Cable companies among the top 10 lost 233,000 television customers, compared with 244,000 the previous quarter while online services. Of the cable companies, Comcast lost 136,000 cable television customers, with its fifth consecutive quarterly loss, down 410,000 year on year to 21.07 million. Charter Spectrum lost 73,000, compared to a loss of 121,000 the previous quarter and 234,000 in the second quarter the prior year. Altice USA lost 24,000 between Optimum and Suddenlink, compared to 30,000 the previous quarter and 37,000 a year before.

It was a mixed picture in the telco TV Space. Verizon FiOS continued to shed television subscribers, losing 37,000, while AT&T U-verse added 24,000, although the telco services have 1.24 million fewer than two years previously.

By contrast to their cable and satellite rivals, the online firms actually made gains with DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV alone adding 325,000 and 41,000 subscribers respectively. Sling TV overtook Optimum to rank seventh, with 2.34 million subscribers, while DIRECTV NOW made the greatest gain, ending the first half of 2018 with 1.74 million.

“Satellite television services lost more subscribers than were gained by their corresponding online alternatives, noted William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “Cable companies slightly reduced their rate of loss but the market is marked by slow attrition rather than a dramatic decline.”