Strategy Analytics: pay-TV subs fall for fourth consecutive quarter | Media Analysis | Business
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Yet more grim tidings for the traditional TV industry in the US have arrived from Strategy Analytics showing that cable, satellite, IPTV and vMVPD providers lost 997,000 subscribers in Q1 2019.
strategyanalytics payTVQ1 12June2019
This brings the total number of pay-TV households in the US to 91.512 million and this is the fourth consecutive quarter in which pay-TV services have declined.

The study found that driving this loss were legacy cable, satellite and IPTV pay services which lost a combined 1.55 million subscribers in the quarter, to result in a total of 83.48 million subscribers. DIRECTV and DISH Network both bled subs considerably, down an estimated 535,000 and 536,0000 subscribers respectively, accounting for just over two-third of legacy pay-TV subscriber losses in Q1 2019.

Given the ongoing losses, Strategy Analytics observed that both DIRECTV parent AT&T and must start to stem these loses, look to extract themselves from these markets, or merge.

Another notable worrying sign for the was that unlike in other quarters, vMVPDs growth was not able to offset declines elsewhere. The study calculated that in Q1 2019, vMVPDs added 553,000 subscribers, up 7.4% quarter-on-quarter. This compared with the 927,000 such firms had been averaging previously. The study also revealed that even though DIRECTV NOW losses were slowing it continues to be a drag on overall vMVPD totals. Yet other vMVPD services saw significant growth in in the quarter, namely Hulu Live TV, up 450,000, and YouTube TV which gained 100,00 subs.

Two of the biggest cable operators, Charter and Comcast, lost the most subscribers among cable operators, shedding 152,000 and 107,000 subscribers respectively. These two cable operators accounted for nearly 74% of cable TV subscriber losses. Overall, the North American Pay TV Index found cable operators lost 1.117 million subscribers in 2018, accounting for a quarter of legacy pay-TV losses in the past 12 months. Frontier was the biggest loser among IPTV services, down 54,000 subscribers in Q1 2019.