Pay TV Subscriber Losses Slow

Among U.S. pay TV homes, subscriber losses have slowed -- muting some concerns over cord-cutting.

Nielsen, in its September 2016 cable network Universe Estimates report, says there was a 0.7% drop in the median decline in pay TV homes, with cable network TV home penetration down 0.5% year-over-year, according to Pivotal Research Group.

In the previous year, median cable network penetration for pay TV homes losses were about 2%.

Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for Pivotal, writes: “Total pay TV home declines were slightly greater than median cable network declines suggests that cord shaving was not particularly significant in the last month versus prior months where the unfavorable (i.e. cord-shaving-increasing) gap between these figures was relatively significant.”



Big cable network groups were hit the hardest, according to Nielsen -- including Walt Disney cable networks and Time Warner, each saw a 1.5% decline in subscribers. Viacom was down 1.3% and Comcast lost 1.2%.

Among the major pay TV network groups, only Fox Networks witnessed a hike -- up 2.7%.

The worst-performing individual networks were Viacom’s CMT, down 6.5%; Spike, losing 5.0%; ESPN, sinking 2.4%; and ESPN2, also down 2.4%.

The best-performing individual networks were Fox Sports 2, gaining 10.9%; the Fox Movie Channel, up 9.7%; and Discovery’s Velocity, 10.3% higher.

1 comment about "Pay TV Subscriber Losses Slow ".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 29, 2016 at 12:09 p.m.

    Unless I'm mistaken, the Nielsen data on cable subscription is based on it's panel findings---in effect, on a survey. These findings should always be taken with a grain of salt---especially when looking at "trends" where we are evaluating declines of 1% or .5%. This is not to say that there aren't some losses caused by "cord cutting" but I doubt that these can be judged with great precision without hard data from the parties actually involved.

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