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Kagan Releases Second Quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber Report

U.S. pay TV subscriber losses come in better than expected in second quarter at 976,000

Monterey, CA, Aug. 16 2017 — The legacy multichannel universe lost a record number of customers in the quarter ended June 30, 2017, but managed to keep the decline below the symbolic one-million threshold. At the mid-year mark, however, the trajectory continues to point to an unprecedented annual decline according to data compiled by Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.


Overall, traditional multichannel subscriptions dropped below 96.1 million in the second quarter, down 1.8 million since year-end 2016. Adding the top two virtual service providers (VSPs) affiliated with legacy multichannel distributors –DISH Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW – lifts the combined total subscriptions to a package of live linear channels and on-demand content to 98 million.

Additional takeaways from Kagan’s second-quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:

  • Cable operators lost 246,000 total video customers. Following the sizable first-quarter drop, total losses at the mid-year mark are up 65.4% annually.
  • Traditional satellite services took a hit in the second quarter, posting an estimated net loss of 443,000 subscriptions to retreat below the 33 million threshold for the first time since 2010.
  • Total traditional video subs on the telco platform dropped to 10.9 million, declining 10.9% annually. With AT&T emphasizing DIRECTV as its primary delivery platform, U-verse accounted for two-thirds of the decline.
  • Based on figures compiled from U.S. Census reports, a calculated 75.8% of the potential residential universe subscribe to a legacy multichannel product in the second-quarter.

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