LRG: U.S. Pay TV Down 255,000 Subs in Q3

According to the Leichtman Research Group, the 11 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 11 largest pay TV providers in the United States - representing about 95% of the market - lost about 255,000 net video subscribers in 3Q 2016, compared to a loss of about 210,000 subscribers in 3Q 2015.

The top pay TV providers account for 93.65 million subscribers, with the top six cable companies having 48.8 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having 34.4 million (including more than 900,000 from DISH's Internet-delivered Sling TV), and the top telephone companies having 10.5 million.

Other findings indicate:

  • The top six cable companies lost about 90,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2016, compared to a loss of about 170,000 subscribers in 3Q 2015. Top cable MSO losses were the fewest in any third quarter since 2006.
  • Satellite TV providers added 207,000 subscribers in 3Q 2016 (including gains from Sling TV), compared to a gain of 3,000 in 3Q 2015. DirecTV's net adds of 323,000 in 3Q 2016 were the most in any third quarter since 2011.
  • The top phone providers lost about 375,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2016, compared to a loss of about 45,000 subscribers in 3Q 2015. Over the past year, AT&T lost about 1,335,000 U-verse subscribers, while adding 1,207,000 DirecTV subscribers.

"The top pay TV providers lost about 255,000 subscribers in this year's third quarter, a cumulative total that was about 45,000 more than in last year's third quarter," said Bruce Leichtman, LRG's president and principal analyst. "Over the past year, the top pay TV providers (including DISH's Sling TV) lost about 755,000 subscribers - compared to a loss of about 445,000 over the prior year."

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