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Report: Pay-TV Subscriber Losses Dipped 4% to About 4.7 Million in 2021

The pay-TV bundle continues to shrink, albeit more slowly. New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the United States, representing about 93% of the market, lost almost 4.7 million net video subscribers in 2021, which is down 4% from a net loss of about 4.87 million in 2020.

The top pay-TV operators now account for about 76.1 million subs — with the top seven cable companies having 41.3 million video subs, other traditional pay-TV services having more than 26.8 million subs, and the top publicly reporting online pay-TV services having 7.9 million subs.

Specifically, the top cable providers had a net loss of about 2.7 million video subs in 2021 — compared with a loss of about 1.95 million subscribers in 2020. Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 2.9 million subs in 2021 — compared with a loss of about 3.85 million subs in 2020.

The top publicly reporting online TV platforms added about 895,000 subs in 2021 — compared with a gain of about 915,000 subs in 2020. Traditional pay-TV services (not including online TV) had a net loss of about 5.6 million subs in 2021 — compared with a net loss of about 5.8 million in 2020.

“While the pay-TV industry continued to lose subscribers, net losses in 2021 were fairly similar to those in recent years,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “In 2021, the top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 4.7 million subs, compared with a loss of about 4.9 million subs in 2020, and a loss of 4.1 million in 2019.”

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Pay-TV Providers Subscribers at end of 2021 Net Adds in 2021
Cable Companies
Comcast 18,176,000 (1,670,000)
Charter 15,833,000 (367,000)
Cox 3,390,000 (260,000)
Altice 2,732,300 (240,900)
Mediacom 572,000 (71,000)
Breezeline/Atlantic Broadband 346,729 (36,271)
Cable One 261,000 (50,000)
Total Top Cable 41,311,029 (2,695,171)
Other Traditional Services
DIRECTV 14,600,000 (1,905,000)
DISH TV (DBS) 8,221,000 (595,000)
Verizon Fios (Telco) 3,644,000 (283,000)
Frontier (Telco) 380,000 (105,000)
Total Top Other Traditional 26,845,000 (2,888,000)
Online TV
Hulu + Live TV 4,300,000 300,000
Sling TV 2,486,000 12,000
fuboTV 1,129,807 581,927

 

Total Top Online TV 7,915,807 893,927
Total Top Providers 76,071,836 (4,689,244)

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