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.