According to data compiled by Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, legacy multichannel pay TV customer defections accelerated in the quarter ended Sept. 30, coming in just shy of the 1.2-million mark to bring year-to-date losses to 2.9 million. Kagan says this is the first time that quarterly pay TV subscriber losses have exceeded 1 million.
The combined cable, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and telco multichannel subscriptions fell to 94.9 million at the end of the period, including 91.7 million residential customers, for a 74.8% residential multichannel penetration.
Among the findings:
- Cable operators lost approximately 801,000 total video customers. In the first nine months of 2017, total losses were up 114% over the same interval in 2016.
- The telco platform logged its ninth consecutive quarter of video customer erosion, with losses coming in at approximately 184,000. AT&T's emphasis on DirecTV NOW is weighing heavily on the company's legacy multichannel products, including U-verse, which accounted for 73.5% of the sector decline during the period.
- Traditional satellite services were down an aggregate of approximately 618,000 subscribers, accounting for 53% of the sector's losses.
- Adding the top two virtual service providers (VSPs) affiliated with legacy multichannel distributors - DISH Network's Sling TV and AT&T's DirecTV NOW - reduces the sector's calculated quarterly losses to approximately 635,000.