For the first time, U.S. pay TV subscriber losses top symbolic 1-million threshold in third quarter
Monterey, CA, Nov. 16 2017 — Legacy multichannel customer defections accelerated in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2017, coming in just shy of the 1.2-million mark to bring year-to-date losses to 2.9 million according to data compiled by Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The combined cable, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) and telecommunications multichannel subscriptions fell to 94.9 million at the end of the period, including 91.7 million residential customers, for a 74.8% residential multichannel penetration.
Additional takeaways from Kagan’s Q3 U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:
- Cable operators lost approx. 801,000 total video customers through Q3 2017. In the first nine months of 2017, total losses were up 114% over the same interval in 2016.
- The telco platform logged its ninth consecutive quarter of video customer erosion, with losses coming in at approx. 184,000. AT&T’s emphasis on DIRECTV NOW is weighing heavily on the company’s legacy multichannel products, including U-verse, which accounted for 73.5% of the sector decline during the period.
- Traditional satellite services were down an aggregate approx. 618,000 subscribers, accounting for 53% of the universe’s losses.
- Adding the top two virtual service providers (VSPs) affiliated with legacy multichannel distributors –DISH Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW – reduces the sector’s calculated quarterly losses to approx. 635,000.
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