The television industry has lost a record number of cable, satellite and telecom-based video subscribers this year, with the latest figures from SNL Kagan indicating year-to-date losses of 1.3 million subscribers. And that’s just through three quarters.
FierceCable cites new SNL Kagan data indicating customer losses in the third quarter alone were 430,000.
“The research firm publishes quarterly the most extensive tally of pay-TV subscriber growth/retraction, covering the industry down to the granular level of small cable operators,” FierceCable notes. “Its count for the third quarter is slightly lower than the 486,000 estimate published by MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett last week.”
Most of the losses this year, including in the third quarter, have been in the telecommunications sector. “The decision by AT&T … to deprioritize U-verse resulted in the telco sector losing 382,000 video customers in the third quarter. Year to date, telco video suppliers have lost 1.2 million customers,” the story reports.
In cable, the attrition slowed to 94,000 subscribers in the third quarter — about half the number of video subscriptions lost in the same quarter a year ago, and a performance FierceCable says was “the sector’s best performance in 10 years.”
Satellite ended up in positive territory for the quarter, up by 46,000 subs. “AT&T’s decision to prioritize growth of DirecTV … generated 323,000 new subs for the platform in the third quarter, offsetting huge losses for Dish Network in satellite,” the report notes.
Dish Network’s Sling TV, meanwhile, has been adding subscribers. The service added 925,000 customers in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, according to SNL Kagan estimates. “Factoring in those users, the research company estimates that MVPD customer ranks have declined by 822,000,” FierceCable notes.