Wow: Pay TV Just Lost the Most Subscribers in History for One Quarter — Check Out the Number

Aug 11, 2016  •  Post A Comment

The subscription television business just had a challenging quarter — and that’s putting it mildly. “With Charter Communications reporting a loss of 152,000 video customers during the period, the pay-TV industry lost more more than 700,000 subscribers in the second quarter, the worst ever for customer attrition,” FierceCable reports.

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett estimates cable, satellite and telco TV operators lost a combined 757,000 subscribers in the second quarter, with that number adjusting to 708,000 if gains by Dish Network’s Sling TV platform are factored in.

“While cable losses eased back to their slowest second-quarter pace in a decade at an estimated 242,000, Moffett said, telco operators lost a record 529,000 video customers during the period,” FierceCable reports. “On the satellite side, AT&T’s aggressive growth of DirecTV, which added 342,000 customers during the second quarter, was offset by an estimated 330,000 customers lost by Dish’s core service, Moffett added.”

The report includes some good news, of sorts: “The rate of attrition doesn’t appear to be accelerating all that much, with operators losing 1.3 percent of their collective video base in the second quarter vs. 1.2 percent in the first quarter.”

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  1. Perhaps it was the fact that rates keep jumping higher and higher. Maybe people discovered antennas again. Maybe people decided that $10 a month for Netflix was better than nearly $150 a month. Maybe it was the horrible customer service, or the repeated need to reboot the tv box, or the repeated loss of internet. Or maybe it was the feeling of being robbed or being unappreciated.

  2. We would use our antenna to pick up local stations…however, all of our stations are more than 50 miles away and the digital signals just do not reach us, even with an antenna. I do wish we had a better recourse to what channels we can get on our satellite service. There are so many sports channels on our tier that we never watch. It would be nice to have a service where we can get the channels we get now, but without all of the redundant sports channels.

    • Definitely need an outdoor antenna. They are rated for distance. To get the best reception, one should get one rated for more miles than one’s distance from broadcast sources. Also, digital reception is influenced tall buildings and trees, mountains, pole mounted transformers, etc., between the source and the receiver, so an antenna should be as high as possible.

      We live over 60 miles from local broadcast sources (we’re lucky they’re all in one location on a mountain top). Our antenna is rated for 100+ miles and is only five feet above our roof peak. We receive all (over 50) digital channels. The main channel for each local network affiliate / major independent is HD, and many channels have two or three sub-channels with alternate programming in standard definition.

      Dropped satellite service years ago and haven’t looked back. Anything we can’t get locally, we watch online.

  3. People are looking for ways to cut back on the cost of cable and satellite yet keeping their local channels. Gave up massive cable channels after moving and now live off of Netflix. As long as CNN and MSNBC are basic who needs the rest?

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