Tiny Dip In Pay TV Growth

The pay TV industry continues to run near-flat subscriber growth.

Craig Moffett, senior analyst of MoffettNathanson Research, notes that for the third quarter, looking at all pay TV operators, there has been a 0.1% year-over-year decline -- a loss of 179,000 subscribers.

Cable operators -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems, Charter and other smaller operators -- have seen a collective 2.4% decline in video subscribers -- some 469,000 customers. Satellite TV providers are virtually flat, up 0.1% or 40,000 customers; telco operators are 11.2% higher, with 330,000 subscribers.

Moffett says: “Pay TV subscriber growth has been bumping along at near-zero for the past two years.”

On Thursday, DirecTV and Cablevision Systems Corp. both took on modest net losses to their U.S. video business in terms of subscribers.



For the third quarter, DirecTV dropped 28,000 subs; Cablevision System had a net loss of 56,000. In the previous third quarter, DirecTV had added 139,000 subscribers; Cablevision had a loss of 37,000 subscribers.

DirecTV now has 20.2 million U.S. subscribers; Cablevision, 2.7 million U.S. video subscribers.

For its third-quarter financial results, DirecTV posted a 6% gain in revenues to $8.4 billion, with net income sinking to $611 million from $699 million. The average monthly consumer price was up 5% to $107.27.

Earlier this year, AT&T agreed acquired DirecTV, in a proposed $49 billion deal.

For its quarterly results, Cablevision Systems witnessed a 3.7% hike in revenues to $1.63 billion, with net income sinking to $71.5 million from $294.6 million, which includes discontinued operations from Bresnan Broadband Cable and Clearview Cinemas, both of which have been sold.

Cablevision’s average monthly cable revenue per customer grew 6% to $154.50, which can include video, broadband, and phone services. Cable advertising revenues grew 7% to $43 million.

"Cutting Cord" photo from Shutterstock.

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