Pay TV Registers Modest Subscriber Loss

Traditional pay TV providers -- cable, satellite, and telco companies -- posted modest losses in subscribers, registering a net loss of 0.1%, or 125,777 during 2014, about the same as the previous year.

Durham, NH -based Leichtman Research Group says 13 of the largest U.S. pay TV providers -- representing 95% of the market -- now account for 95.2 million subscribers. The net losses were a bit more than in 2013 when the business lost around 95,000 subscribers.

Cable TV providers took the biggest hit, with net losses of 1.195 million, somewhat less than the previous year, when it lost 1.695 million subscribers. Cable now has some 49.3 million U.S. subscribers.

On the positive side, phone companies witnessed the biggest gains -- AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS collectively pulled in net additions of 1.05 million, somewhat slower than the 1.430 million net gain in 2013. Telcos now have 11.6 million U.S. subscribers.



Satellite TV companies added 20,000, now sitting at 34.3 million subscribers. DirecTV added 99,000; Dish Network, lost 79,000.

"2014 marked the second consecutive year for pay-TV industry net losses, but the losses remained modest again this year," stated Bruce Leichtman, president/principal analyst for Leichtman.

He adds: "Despite a relatively saturated market, and increasing alternatives for consumers to watch video, the top pay-TV providers have only lost about 0.2% of all subscribers over the past two years."

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