As noted by RapidTV News (https://tinyurl.com/y23l87am), the largest pay-TV providers in the US. – representing about 95% of the market – lost about 1,325,000 net video subscribers in the first quarter [1Q] of 2019, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).
The analyst firm said those numbers were significantly up from a pro forma net loss of about 305,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018. The top pay-TV providers now account for about 87.8 million subscribers – with the top six cable companies having 46.7 million video subscribers, satellite TV services having 28.3 million subscribers, the top telephone companies claiming 8.9 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services clocking 3.9 million subscribers.
Satellite TV services lost about 810,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019, compared to a net loss of about 375,000 a year before; those net losses were more than in any previous quarter, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of record net losses for the sector.
Meanwhile, the top six cable companieslost about 335,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2019 – compared to a loss of about 285,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018. Telcos lost about 105,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2019 – compared to a loss of about 50,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018.
And, even internet-delivered (vMVPD) services Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW slipped, losing about 75,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019 – compared to about 405,000 net adds in 1Q 2018.
AT&T had a net loss of about 625,000 subscribers across its three pay-TV services (DIRECTV (satellite), AT&T U-verse (IPTV) and DIRECTV NOW (vMVPD) in 1Q 2019 – compared to a net gain of about 125,000 subscribers in 1Q 2018. The leading pay-TV provider in the US, this meant that AT&T accounted for 47% of the net losses in the quarter.
“Overall, the top pay-TV providers had a net loss about 1,325,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019,” says Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “1Q 2019 was the third consecutive quarter of record pay-TV net losses. This accelerated downturn in the pay-TV market coincided with the decisions by AT&T and other providers to increasingly focus on long-term profitability when acquiring and retaining subscribers.”