U.S. Pay TV Services Sink 3% In 2018

Top traditional U.S. pay TV services lost 3% -- a total of 2,568,100 TV subscribers -- in 2018.

Dish Network and DirecTV were the biggest losers. These services lost 2.36 million subscribers, according to the Multiscreen Index.

At the same time, those two companies' respective internet-based pay TV services gained 649,000 subscribers over the year. Dish’s Sling TV ended the year with 2.42 million subscribers, DirecTV Now, 1.53 million.

U.S. pay TV companies lost many customers in the fourth quarter of 2018. The top 10 service providers dropped 1.1 million TV subscribers, with the two satellites losing 784,000 subscribers.

DirecTV lost 403,000 satellite subscribers in the period, ending the year with 19.22 million. Dish Network lost 381,000 subscribers, dropping just below 10 million.

There were a total of 52.84 million traditional cable pay TV subscribers at the end of the year. Comcast Corp. was just below 21 million, with Charter Communications at 16.1 million and Altice USA at 3.31 million. The results do not include subscriber numbers from Cox Communications.

In the fourth quarter, Verizon lost 46,000 Fios subscribers; AT&T’s U-verse added 12,000. In total, for the year, the two had 118,000 fewer subscribers than in 2018. In that year,  they had a collective.13 million telco subscribers.

The top 10 traditional pay TV services now have 81.6 million subscribers -- just over 68% of television homes.

1 comment about "U.S. Pay TV Services Sink 3% In 2018".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 25, 2019 at 4 p.m.

    Wayne, once again, the real question an advertiser wants answered  is TV losing a substantial part of its reach potential because of these seemingly huge losses? The answer---as we point out in "TV Dimensions" is that approximately 75%-77% of all TV homes can receive basic cable fare one way or another---including telcos. Moreover, because 14% get their TV content by over -the- air reception---a rapidly growing segment----these homes are covered by broadcast TV's  networks, syndicators and local station content. So, to answer my own question, if you use a mix of basic cable plus broadcast your overall reach potential remains very high---about 94%. The sky isn't falling---not yet.

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