Top ten US service providers lose over 2MN subs in first quarter of 2020 | Media Analysis | Business
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In what seems like an endless cycle of customer bleeding, the first quarter of 2020 has seen more heavy losses for the top 10 service providers in the US, collectively losing 2.33 million television subscribers according to the latest informitv Multiscreen Index.
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The Multiscreen Index reports subscriber numbers as revealed by service providers, rather than analyst estimates. The latest study showed that the top 10 US services now have 74.65 million television customers between them, accounting for 62% of television homes. Cox Communications is not included in the top 10 as it does not report subscriber numbers. Two years ago, these leading players accounted for just over 84 million.

The study found that AT&T lost the most subscribers, 897,000 Premium TV customers and a further 135,000 AT&T TV NOW subscribers, for a combined loss of over a million. DISH Network ended the first quarter with 382,000 fewer satellite television subscribers and 281,000 fewer for its Sling TV online television service.

Cable company Comcast lost 388,000 television subscribers, the twelfth consecutive quarterly subscriber loss, with its total falling below 20 million for the first time in almost two decades while the telco TV space Verizon TV subscribers declined by 84,000, marking 13 consecutive quarterly falls, taking it down to 4.07 million, from a high of 5.86 million four years previously.

Other significant falls were recorded by Charter Spectrum which lost 70,000 television subscribers, marking its ninth consecutive quarterly loss, down by over 400,000 in twelve months to 15.55 million. Altice, Mediacom and Frontier lost 97,700 television subscribers between them in the quarter, and a total of 372,600 over twelve months.

“This is the largest quarterly loss of television subscribers in the United States we have reported to date,” noted Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index commenting on the results revealed. “The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to this, but many service providers have been losing subscribers for some time. Notably, their newer online services are now no exception to this trend.” However, informitv also noted that it was difficult to assess how far such losses could be attributed to economic conditions and how much to an accelerating long-term structural decline.