Cable Operators Losing Video Subscribers

Watching-TV-AB2Cable system operators continue to lose video subscribers.

In the second quarter of 2012, the top nine cable companies lost 540,000 video consumers, a bit lower than the 600,000 video subscriber loss in the second quarter of 2011, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Looking at the 13 largest multichannel video providers in the U.S. -- cable, satellite, and telco operators -- the business lost 325,000 video consumers, 1,500 more than the total loss of video customers in the second quarter of 2011.

Leichtman says the top nine cable companies have 52.1 million subscribers, satellite TV companies have 34 million and telephone companies reporting 8.6 million.

The telephone companies had the best positive results during the period -- although slowing down from gains made years ago. They added 275,000 video subscribers, compared to 386,000 customers in the second quarter of 2011.

Satellite TV providers also took it on the chin, losing 62,000 subscribers. This compares to a loss of 109,000 in the second quarter of 2011. DirecTV had its first loss of subscribers -- 52,000 -- in the second quarter.

Looking at the entire past year, multichannel video providers added about 375,000 subscribers, compared to a gain of about 210,000 over the prior year.

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, stated: "While reports of multichannel video industry losses in the second quarter of 2012 have rekindled pronouncements of cord-cutting impacting the industry, the reality is that industry-wide losses in the traditionally weak quarter were nearly identical to losses in last year's second quarter."



3 comments about "Cable Operators Losing Video Subscribers".
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  1. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, August 15, 2012 at 8:05 a.m.

    And I don't think things are going to get better anytime soon. Retransmission Fees, as well as the Negotiations for Major Sporting Events are going to mean Huge Fee Increases for the Subscribers. Add to that the Faltering Economy and I see more "Cord Cutting" in the months ahead.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, August 15, 2012 at 8:54 a.m.

    It doesn't help that the country has seen 41 straight months of unemployment about 8 percent.

  3. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, August 15, 2012 at 1 p.m.

    None of these studies consider the census data surprises - like that we've lost 2 million physical households as a result of the recession. So, in reality, these may be pure demographic realities - and have only minimal connection to changes in the TV landscape. Here's a bit more.

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