Major Pay-TV Providers Lost More Than 1.7 Million Subs in Q3 2019

The nation’s largest pay-TV providers representing about 93% of the market lost about 1.74 million combined video subscribers in the most-recent fiscal period, compared with a net loss of about 975,000 subs in the previous-year period, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group.

Pay-TV now accounts for about 84.8 million subs — with cable companies having 46.1 million video subs, satellite TV 26.3 million, telecom 8.6 million, and online TV services 3.8 million.

Satellite TV lost about 1.14 million subs in the third quarter, compared with a net loss of about 725,000 subs in Q3 2018. DirecTV had record net losses for the sixth consecutive quarter, while Dish TV had fewer net losses than in any quarter since Q3 2014.

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The top cable companies lost about 410,000 video subs, compared with a loss of about 245,000 subscribers in Q3 2018. Top telephone providers lost about 210,000 video subs, compared with a loss of about 80,000 subs last year.

Online TV services Sling TV and AT&T TV Now added about 20,000 subs, compared with about 75,000 net adds last year.

“This marked the fifth consecutive quarter of record pay-TV industry net losses,” Bruce Leichtman, principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement. “AT&T, the leading pay-TV provider in the U.S., accounted for 79% of the net losses in the quarter compared to 30% of net losses in 3Q 2018. This change is largely the result of AT&T’s strategic decision to increasingly focus on retaining and acquiring more profitable subscribers.”

Comcast 21,403,000 (down 238,000)
Charter 16,245,000 (75,000)
Cox 3,900,000 (40,000)
Altice 3,223,400 (31,900)
Mediacom 729,000 (18,000)
Atlantic Broadband 312,555 (added 5,294)
Cable ONE 298,063 (10,430)
Total Top Cable 46,111,018 (408,036)

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