vMVPDs' Strong Q3 Helps Offset Accelerated Cable, Satellite Subscriber Losses

Top publicly reporting vMVPDs added nearly 900,000 subscribers in this year’s third quarter compared to Q3 2021 counts.

That was the third most quarterly net adds ever for these services, behind only the third quarters of 2020 and 2019, according to the latest quarterly report from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). In last year’s third quarter, the tracked vMVPDs — Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and fuboTV — added 680,000 subscribers.

Hulu + Live TV added 400,000 subscribers in Q3 versus the year-ago quarter, to total 4.4 million; Sling TV added 214,000, to 2.4 million, and FuboTV added 284,265, to total 1.23 million.

Together, these services now have more than 8 million subscribers. That represents 7% growth in the last 12 months, although under 4% growth over the past two years, according to a NexTV calculation.

Meanwhile, traditional cable and satellite pay-TV sectors suffered accelerated losses in Q3.

Top cable providers had a net loss of about 980,000 video subscribers, versus 700,000 lost in Q3 2021, and other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 700,000, compared to 630,000 lost in Q3 2021.

The cable losses included 562,000 at Comcast, 204,000 at Charter and an estimated 90,000 at Cox. The cable sector ended Q3 with about 38.6 million total subscribers.

The satellite and other traditional pay-TV losses included 400,000 at DirecTV, 184,000 at Dish TV and 96,000 at Verizon Fios. This sector ended the quarter with 24.8 million total subscribers.

However, because of the vMVPD gains, total pay-TV net losses across the three sectors were about 785,000, which were less severe than the losses seen in this year’s first two quarters, noted Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG.

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