U.S. Pay TV Shed 385,000 Subs Last Year

According to the Leichtman Research Group, the 13 largest pay TV providers in the United States - representing about 95% of the market ...

Broadband growth slowing, cable still leads
Broadband growth slowing, cable still leads
According to the Leichtman Research Group, the 13 largest pay TV providers in the United States - representing about 95% of the market - lost about 385,000 net video subscribers in 2015, compared to a loss of about 150,000 subscribers in 2014, and a loss of about 100,000 subscribers in 2013.

The top pay TV providers account for 94.2 million subscribers, with the top nine cable companies having more than 49.0 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies about 33.7 million, and the top telephone companies nearly 11.5 million.

Other findings indicate:

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 345,000 video subscribers in 2015, compared to a loss of about 1,215,000 subscribers in 2014. Top cable MSO losses were the fewest in any year since 2006.
  • Satellite TV providers added 86,000 subscribers in 2015 (including gains from DISH's Internet-delivered Sling TV), compared to a gain of 20,000 in 2014. Not including gains from Sling TV, DBS providers lost about 450,000 subscribers in 2015.
  • The top telephone providers lost 125,000 video subscribers in 2015, compared to a gain of about 1,050,000 net additions in 2014. Telco net adds in 2015 were the fewest in any year since the services started in 2006.
  • In 4Q 2015, the top pay TV providers added about 110,000 subscribers, compared to about 90,000 in 4Q 2014. Top cable MSOs added about 125,000 subscribers in 4Q 2015 - their first quarter for net video additions since 1Q 2008. DirecTV net adds of 214,000 subscribers in 4Q 2015 were higher than in any quarter since 4Q 2010. AT&T U-verse lost 240,000 subscribers in 4Q 2015, compared to a gain of 73,000 subscribers in 4Q 2014

"2015 marked the third consecutive year for pay TV industry net losses, yet the total number of subscribers for major pay TV providers (including DISH's Sling TV) has declined by less than 1 million since the industry peaked in 1Q 2012," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "2015 also saw significant shifts for cable and telco providers. The top cable providers cumulatively had their best year since 2006 and had about 870,000 fewer losses than in 2014. Telcos had about 1,170,000 fewer net additions than in 2014 and had their worst year since they began providing video services in 2006."

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