Q4 horror story completes tough 2018 for leading US pay-TV providers | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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The latest informitv Multiscreen Index has shown just what an annus horribilis 2018 was for the US pay-TV industry with the loss of 1.21 million  subscribers in the last quarter of and 2.57 million over the full year.
comcast 27feb2018
The top 10 services for the United States in the Multiscreen Index now have 81.58 million television customers between them, accounting for just over two-thirds of US television homes.

The quarterly number represents 1.36% of the companies’ combined subscriber base with the two major satellite services losing 784,000 subscribers between them while in what amounted to a success of some degree, the cable TV providers had a better quarter, with the two leading services reducing their combined losses to 55,000.

In the course of 2018, the top 10 services lost just over 3% of their subscriber base. The largest losses were for the two satellite services, which shed 2.36 million subscribers. Their respective online services gained 649,000 subscribers over the course of the year.

Looking at specific companies, the index found that during Q4 2018 Comcast cut its quarterly cable television subscriber losses to 19,000 but its total dropped below 21 million by the end of 2018. Cable rival Charter lost 36,000 cable television customers, compared to a loss of 66,000 the previous quarter, ending the year with 16.10 million. In the satellite industry, DIRECTV lost 403,000 subscribers, ending the year with 19.22 million, while the DIRECT NOW online service lost 280,000, ending the year with 1.53 million. DISH Network lost 381,000 satellite subscribers, falling below 10 million, but gained 47,000 Sling TV customers, ending with 2.42 million.

In the IPTV world, Verizon lost 46,000 FiOS TV subscribers, while AT&T added 12,000 U-verse television customers. Between them they have 8.13 million telco television subscribers, 118,000 fewer than a year previously. Altice USA reduced subscriber losses for Optimum to 16,100, while Suddenlink gained 800, with a combined net loss of 98,100 over the year, ending the year with a total of 3.31 million.

“While the satellite services in the United States lost further subscribers, the cable companies reduced their rate of television customer decline but added internet customers,” observed Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “So while they are losing on the swings they are gaining on the roundabouts.”