Leichtman: US pay TV losses slow in Q2

The largest pay TV providers in the US – representing about 95% of the market – lost 415,000 net video subscribers in the second quarter, marking their lowest combined Q2 loss since 2014.

This is according to Leichtman Research, which said the subscriber losses incurred by the US operators this year compared to a larger reduction of 660,000 subscribers in Q2 2017.

Gains by internet-delivered services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now and reduced losses the main US telco operators helped to bring about the improved Q2 figure.

However, subscriber losses widened among cable and satellite operators year-on-year.

The top six cable companies lost about 275,000 video subscribers in Q2 2018, compared to a loss about 190,000 subscribers in Q2 2017, according to the research.

Satellite TV services lost about 480,000 subscribers in Q2 2018, compared to a loss of about 470,000 subscribers in Q2 2017 – the heaviest loss the US satellite TV market has incurred in any quarter.

US telco providers lost about 45,000 video subscribers in Q2 2018, compared to a loss of 270,000 subscribers in Q2 2017, with AT&T U-verse reporting net video additions for the first time since Q1 2015.

Internet-delivered services added about 385,000 subscribers in Q2 2018, compared to about 270,000 net additions in Q2 2017.

“The two publicly reporting Internet-delivered pay TV services now have over 4 million subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.

“This newer segment of the industry has helped to mitigate overall pay TV losses, while also contributing to a share shift from traditional services.  This shift is both a product of consumers opting for more economical services, as well as changes in providers’ strategies.”

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