Subscriber Losses Set a Record — and as Records Go, It’s a Whopper!

Nov 20, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A new report on multichannel subscriptions in the U.S. reveals that subscriber losses continue, and even though they slowed down a bit during the third quarter, the combined losses for the first three quarters of 2015 set a record — by a lot.

The report on multichannel subscriber losses from SNL Kagan showed that losses “remained elevated for the period ended September 30,” the company announced in a press release. “For the period comprised of the first three quarters, the data shows the largest-ever drop in subscribers, nearly five times the previous record, set in 2014.”

The third quarter was the industry’s sixth consecutive quarter in negative territory, the company reported, noting that the country gained 1.8 million occupied households during the period.

“The converging trends have led to a slump in the U.S. multichannel penetration rate, which, as of September 30, stood at a calculated 82.4%,” the company announced.

Kagan did find a silver lining or two, reporting that subscriber losses in Q3 were down 41.2% from the decline of 629,000 in the second quarter.

The announcement adds: “Cable logged its best third-quarter results in 8 years and approximately half of the loss was isolated to DISH Network.”

The release notes the following highlights from SNL Kagan’s 3rd-quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:

  • Year-to-date, cable operators have shed an estimated 672,000 basic subscriptions: a 39% reduction in customer losses annually. For the period under consideration, the first nine months of the year, it is also cable’s first sub-1 million drop since 2008.
  • The direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) segment lost an estimated 152,000 subscribers in the third quarter, as DirecTV’s return to positive net adds was overcome by mounting DISH losses.
  • The top two telecommunications companies (telcos) combined to lose 49,000 video customers, in stark contrast to a gain of 330,000 the same period last year.


  1. why are the cable companies so surprised? Most people can’t afford $2500 a year for cable and internet. its ridiculous. everyone I know is moving to netflix, hulu and amazon. why pay $200 a month when you can pay $30 or less? ANd now there are local Antenaes. corp american just don’t get that people are hurting, wages are a joke, jobs are few….how are people going to buy your crap when they are penniless????

  2. Why is ANYONE surprised? I cut the cable years ago and hooked an antenna and a computer to the tv set. I don’t have Netflix or Hulu or any of them and don’t miss them either, so aside from the electricity, my viewing costs are $0.

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