A new report suggests satellite television is dying at an alarmingly rapid rate, driven by the rapid ascent of cheap streaming services from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube.
The report by The New York Post cites “surprisingly steep customer losses at Dish Network and DirecTV, the nation’s dominant satellite broadcasters.”
“Last week, shares of Dish, run by Charlie Ergen, tumbled 7.7 percent after the company revealed it lost 334,000 customers in the most recent quarter — a frightening figure that left the ranks of its satellite TV subscribers below the 10 million mark for the first time in 15 years,” The Post reports, adding: “Two weeks earlier, DirecTV revealed its subscriber ranks plunged by 658,000 — nearly twice the 346,000 it bled a quarter earlier, sending shares of its owner, AT&T, plunging 4.3 percent.”
The report adds: “By contrast, cable providers like Charter’s Spectrum lost 36,000 subscribers, Comcast dropped 19,000 and Verizon’s Fios shed 46,000.”
The Post notes that AT&T boss Randall Stephenson’s 2015 decision to pay $67 billion to buy DirecTV has increasingly been questioned by Wall Street analysts.
“Indeed, at a November presentation to analysts, Stephenson admitted AT&T was ‘scrambling’ to amp up its streaming video business because it was ‘seeing shifts in viewing from traditional TV viewing — cable, satellite — to on-demand viewing,'” the report adds.