Pay, Cable TV Lose Subscribers, Satellite TV Gains

Confirming other recent research, 2013 wasn’t a good year overall for U.S. TV providers, according to SNL Kagan.

The media research company said in total, the pay TV business lost 251,000 subscribers -- 0.3% -- to settle around 100 million U.S. pay TV homes. Better news was that overall, the business gained some in the fourth quarter of 2013 -- up 40,000 video subscribers.

Cable TV providers again lost the most ground for the year -- 2 million subscribers, or 4% -- totaling 54 million by the end of 2013. Cable lost 388,000 in the fourth quarter alone.

TV satellite providers added 170,000 -- 0.5% higher, for a total of 34.3 million video customers. SNL Kagan says nearly all of the gain came from DirecTV. In the fourth quarter, the business added 101,000 subscribers.

Telecommunications’ TV provider services continued to be the strongest pay TV provider -- adding 296,000 subscribers, up 3% to total 10.99 million by year’s end. AT&T U-Verse and Verizon’s FiOS did the majority of the heavy lifting -- adding together 286,000 new customers.

Over the last two years, fourth quarter 2011 to fourth quarter 2013, cable TV providers lost 3.7 million subscribers, with satellite companies up 460,000 million and telco services adding 3 million.

"Watching TV" photo from Shutterstock.

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