Cable Networks Hit With Ongoing Subscriber Declines

Among the TV networks, traditional pay TV subscribers continue to decline.

In June 2016, there was a 2.9% decline in overall median cable network subscribers -- which follows a 3% drop in May and a 2.8% pullback in April, according to Pivotal Research Group's analysis from Nielsen's cable network universe estimates.

Nielsen Universe Estimates are projections for an upcoming period. For example, it will project the total number of TV homes for the next season — that number will come out in late August. Last year it projected 118.4 million TV homes for the 2016-2017 TV season.

The second quarter of this year has seen steeper declines, versus the first three months of 2017, which averaged a 2.1% drop. In June, just 16 of all 120 networks tracked by Nielsen showed positive growth during the month.

Many mid-level and fringe networks of big TV network groups continue to show the biggest declines.

Time Warner's Boomerang was down 9.6%, while Viacom's CMT went backwards 9.6%, MTV Class lost 8.0%, Spike sank 6.6% and Scripps Networks Interactive's DIY gave up 7.1%.

Discovery Communications' Destination America lost 8.7% and Discovery Family Channel, gave back 8.4%. Among other Discovery networks,  American Heroes lost 7.4% and Science was off 6.7%.

Networks that showed improvement included AMC's Sundance, 9.8% higher; Fox's FXX, adding 6.7%; and Discovery's Velocity, up 3.4%.

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