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Kagan Releases 4th Quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber Report

2016 video subscribers decline to 1.8 million biting into U.S. multichannel share

Mar. 10 2017 — Cord cutting accelerated in the fourth quarter 2016 according to Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.  Kagan estimates the combined cable, direct-broadcast-satellite (DBS) and telecommunications (telco) sectors lost 460,000 video customers during the period, bringing the overall 2016 decline to a record 1.8 million.

However, cable remains on the rebound posting its third straight year of decelerating losses, and the multichannel drop is reduced to 950,000 when removing the impact of Sling TV.

Additional highlights from Kagan’s 4th-quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:  

  • Cable operators lost 103,000 total video customers vs. a net gain of 108,000 in Q4 2015. Cable in 2016 saw its subscriber count fall by 472,000, cutting the 2015 decline by 28.5%. This was the sector’s best result since 2007.
  • DBS shed 18,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter as DIRECTV driven by AT&T's growth strategy could not overcome DISH Network Corp.'s opposing focus on profitability and Sling TV.
  • Telco ended 2016 deeply in the red, losing 338,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter as the planned retirement of AT&T’s U-verse continues to weigh heavily on the platform.
  • The combined residential subscriptions for cable, DBS and telco services accounted for 77.5% of the potential residential universe, using figures compiled from U.S. Census reports


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