Media analysts who feared the worst for pay TV in the second quarter have seen their projections realized. Subscriber losses nearly hit the 1 million mark.
Craig Moffett, senior media analyst, of MoffettNathanson Research, says pay TV losses amounted to 941,000, which was “the worst quarterly loss ever.”
He says this amounts to a 2.7% decline for the period.
The next quarter could see an acceleration of these losses. Moffett says his prediction of 3% long-term pay-TV subscriber losses might not hold. “Will those losses accelerate to 4%, 5% or even 6% per year? There is, unfortunately, no road map.”
Analysts had estimated the business could lose anywhere from 1 million to 1.2 million pay TV subscribers.
Dish Network, which was one of the last reporting pay-TV providers, sank 196,000 in the period, which was a bit better than analysts expected. Still, it wasn't good news overall.
“Dish’s business model is proving increasingly unsustainable,” warned Tom Eagan, media analyst at Telsey Advisory Group.
Eagan says Dish's pay-TV business will continue to be impacted by ongoing subscriber loss and EBITDA [earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization] margin pressure. That's due to "higher program costs, broadband investment and continued cost initiatives at Sling, a necessity due to the increasingly competitive OTT environment.”