Top Pay TV Providers See Subscriber Decline Of 5.8% In 2021

Cord-cutting continues to hurt top pay TV providers, with subscribers sinking 5.8% last year -- by 4.7 million -- to total 76.1 million, according to Leichtman Research Group.

Among all pay TV providers, satellite-delivered pay TV provider DirecTV took the biggest hit -- sinking 12% (1.9 million subscribers) to total 14.6 million -- followed by Comcast, which lost 8.5% (1.7 million subscribers) to a total of 18.2 million subscribers.

Charter Communications, the second-largest cable TV provider, had the best among the big video providers -- dropping just 2.2% (367,000) to land at 15.8 million.

Overall, the top seven cable providers dropped 6.1% to land at a collective 41.3 million. Cox Cable systems was down 7% (260,000) to 3.4 million, and Altice USA dropped 8.1% (240,900) to 2.7 million.



Virtual pay TV providers witnessed an 11% climb (894,000 subscribers) in 2021 to 7.92 million. Leichtman Research found that Hulu+Live TV added 7% (300,000) to total 4.3 million, while fuboTV grew a massive 52% (581,900) to 1.13 million.

In 2020, subscriber decline was 5.7%, with a loss of 4.87 million subscribers.

The research from Leichtman, which includes estimates as well as company reports, examined 14 pay TV companies.


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