Traditional Pay TV Posted Big Losses in 2017

Mar 9, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Viewers continue to flee traditional pay-TV providers at an alarming rate, with 2017 going down as one of the worst years ever, by some measures.

MediaPost reports that big traditional pay TV providers lost 3.7% or 3 million subscribers in 2017.

“Seven major services — DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Charter, Altice, U-Verse and FiOS — gave up 3 million subscribers collectively during 2017, according to nScreenMedia,” the story reports. “The biggest loser was Dish Network, which gave back 1.14 million subscribers — a 10% decline. AT&T U-verse was down 17% or 622,000 largely due to AT&T shifting business to DirecTV services.”

Satellite services were down 5.4% overall, while telcos lost 8.5% and cable operators slipped 1.2%, the story reports.

“The top seven companies represent 85% of all traditional pay TV subscribers,” the report notes, meaning the total decline is probably about 3.5 million subscribers.

But the losses are softened by increases in what the story calls “virtual pay TV services.”

“MoffettNathanson Research estimates that new virtual MVPDs (multichannel video program distributors) grew by 2.6 million last year (to 4.6 million overall),” MediaPost reports. “This came from Google’s YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Dish’s Sling TV.”

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