Cord-Cutting Slams Pay TV, More Subscriber Woes

Pay TV providers were hit with their largest loss of TV subscribers ever in the second quarter of this year, as cord-cutting concerns continue to mount.

SNL Kagan says multichannel TV providers --- cable, satellite, and telco -- lost 625,000 subscribers, now totaling 100.4 million U.S. TV subscribers. The previous down mark came in the second quarter of 2011, when pay TV providers dropped 441,000.

For this second-quarter period, cable pay TV providers sank 350,000 their lowest decline since 2008, when cable lost 211,000 -- now at 54.7 million U.S. subscribers. Satellite TV providers -- DirecTV and Dish Network -- gave up 304,000, now totaling 34 million.

Telco businesses -- mostly AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS -- were essentially flat at 11.7 million.

Typically, pay TV companies have seen big growth in the first quarter. The highest in recent years came in 2012 when there was a net addition of 508,000. The year before that, 2011, the business added on 483,000, and in 2010, growing 496,000.



But for the first quarters of 2013 and 2014, growth has been about half that of previous first quarter periods -- up 227,000 and 267,000. And then this year, 2015, witnessed a decline of 26,000.

Combined with a weak growth in the first quarter of this year, SNL expected a much larger decline for the full-year 2015.

1 comment about "Cord-Cutting Slams Pay TV, More Subscriber Woes".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 13, 2015 at 1:32 p.m.

    I'm glad to see that you are including the total number of subscribers as well as the loss stats in this piece, Wayne. That allows the reader to see what percent of the subscriber base was lost and puts the losses into a better perspective. Good job.

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