Report: Pay-TV Operators Added 1 Million Broadband Subs in Q1, Down From Last Year

As pay-TV operators continue to hemorrhage video subscribers, the offsetting silver lining continues to be high-speed internet service.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. — representing about 96% of the market — acquired about 1.065 million net additional broadband internet subs in 1Q 2022, compared with a pro forma gain of about 1.12 million subs in 1Q 2021.

These broadband providers account for about 109.3 million subs, with top cable companies having about 75.6 million broadband subs, top wireline phone companies having about 32.3 million subs, and top fixed wireless services having about 1.4 million subs.

Overall, Leichtman said broadband additions in Q1 were 95% of those in the previous-year period. The top cable companies added about 480,000 subs in the quarter — 52% of the net additions for the top cable companies last year. The top wireline phone companies added about 50,000 total broadband subs — compared with about 80,000 net adds in last year.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Meanwhile, telecoms offering broadband realized about 480,000 net adds via fiber, and about 430,000 non-fiber net losses. Fixed wireless/5G home internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 530,000 subs in the quarter — compared with 110,000 net adds a year earlier.

“The distribution of net broadband additions differed from a year ago,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Fixed wireless services accounted for half of the net broadband adds in the quarter, compared to about 10% of the net adds [last year].””

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of Q1 2022 Net Adds in Q1 2022
Cable Companies    
Comcast 32.163 million 262,000
Charter 30.274 million 185,000
Cox 5.560 million 30,000
Altice 4.373 million (13,000)
Mediacom 1.468 million 5,000
Cable One 1.057 million 11,000
Breezeline 719,608 2,830
Total Top Cable 75.614 million 482,830
Wireline Phone Companies    
AT&T 15.533 million 29,000
Verizon 7.400 million 35,000
Lumen 4.470 million (49,000)
Frontier 2.819 million 20,000
Windstream 1.176 million 11,300
TDS^ 495,200 4,900
Consolidated 380,150 (850)
Total Top Wireline Phone 32.273 million 50,350
Fixed Wireless Services    
T-Mobile 984,000 338,000
Verizon 433,000 194,000
Total Top Fixed Wireless 1.417 million 532,000
Total Top Broadband 109.305 million 1.065 million

Leichtman: Pay-TV Operators Up Q1 Sub Loss to 1.95 Million

New data from the Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. — representing about 93% of the market — lost more than 1.95 million net video subscribers in the first quarter, ended March 31. That compared with a net loss of 1.91 million subs in the previous-year period.

The top pay-TV operators now account for about 74.1 million subs — with the top seven cable companies having about 40.5 million video subs, other traditional pay-TV services having 26.2 million subs, and the top publicly reporting online pay-TV services having about 7.4 million subs.

Leichtman found that the top cable providers had a net loss of about 825,000 video subs in the quarter, compared to a loss of about 780,000 subs in the same period in 2021. Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 625,000 subs, down from a loss of about 865,000 subs in 1Q 2021.

Top publicly reporting online TV platforms, such as Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and Fubo TV, had a net loss of about 505,000 subs, compared to a loss of about 265,000 subs in 1Q 2021.

“Over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of 4.735 million subs, similar to a loss of about 4.82 million over the prior year,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Pay-TV Providers Subscribers at end of 1Q 2022 Net Adds in 1Q 2022
Cable Companies
Comcast 17.664 million (512,000)
Charter 15.721 million (112,000)
Cox 3.310 million (80,000)
Altice 2.658 million (73,600)
Mediacom 555,000 (17,000)
Breezeline 339,021 (7,708)
Cable One 238,000 (23,000)
Total Top Cable 40.485 million (825,308)
Other Traditional Services
DirecTV 14.300 million (300,000)
DISH TV (DBS) 7.993 million (228,000)
Verizon Fios (Telco) 3.566 million (78,000)
Frontier (Telco) 363,000 (17,000)
Total Top Other Traditional 26.222 million (623,000)
Internet-Delivered (vMVPD)
Hulu + Live TV 4.100 million (200,000)
Sling TV 2.252 million (234,000)
fuboTV 1.056 million (73,562)

 

Total Top Online TV 7.408 million (507,562)
Total Top Providers 74.115 million 1.955 million

Analysis: 33% of Netflix Subs Share the Service

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group found that 83% of U.S. households have at least one streaming video service from the 15 top direct-to-consumer and subscription video-on-demand services, including 67% of all households with Netflix.

However, not all Netflix and other streaming services are paid for directly by those who use them. The study found that 64% of Netflix subs do not share their account with others outside the household, while 33% are used by more than one household.

Specifically, Leichtman found that 15% of Netflix services are used and paid for by those that also share them with someone outside the household. Another 15% of Netflix accounts are used in one household but are borrowed from another household that is paying for the service, while 3% of services are used by multiple households that share costs, and 3% are not paid for because they come with another service.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

These findings are based on an online survey of 4,400 households from throughout the U.S. and are part of a new LRG study, Internet-Delivered Pay-TV Services 2022. This is LRG’s fifth annual study focused on the online pay-TV category, along with other DTC streaming video services.

“Password sharing is an inherent feature of most streaming services,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Sharing helps to expand the user base and retain customers, but it also creates a gap between the number of households that have a service, and actual paying subscribers.”

Other findings from the study include that 29% of all DTC services are shared with others outside the household, 12% of all DTC services are fully paid for by someone outside the household, 34% of adults ages 18-34 have at least one DTC service that is fully paid for by someone else — compared to 14% of ages 35+.

About 5% of all households had Netflix in the past year, but currently do not — similar to 6% for Hulu, 5% for Amazon Prime, and 5% for live pay-TV services. Adults ages 18-44 account for 65% of all with an online pay-TV service. Another 79% of online TV subs are very satisfied with their service — compared with 76% in 2020 and 69% in 2018. And 23% of all these services are shared by multiple households, including 7% of all services that are fully paid for by someone outside the household.

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.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

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)

Leichtman: Nearly 90% of U.S. Homes Have Internet Service

New data from Leichtman Research finds that 87% of U.S. homes now have internet service, compared with 83% in 2016 and 69% in 2006. High-speed broadband accounts for 98% of households with an internet service at home, up from 81% in 2016 and 42% in 2006.

Overall, 60% of broadband subscribers say they are very satisfied with their ISP, while 7% are not satisfied (rated 1-3). Similarly, 68% of broadband subs agree say their ISP meets the needs of their household, while 4% disagree.

The findings are based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. households from a new LRG study, Broadband Internet in the U.S. 2021.  This is LRG’s 19th annual study on this topic.

Other related findings include that 63% of broadband subs rate the speed of their internet connection 8-10 (with 10 being excellent), while 7% rate it 1-3 (with 1 being poor). About 45% of broadband subs do not know the download speed of their service, compared with 59% in 2016.

More than 69% of survey respondents reporting internet speeds of 100+ Mbps are very satisfied with their service, compared with 53% with speeds <50 Mbps, and 58% that don’t know their speed.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

About 60% of adults with an ISP at home watch video online daily — compared with 50% in 2019, 41% in 2016 and 5% in 2006. Another 87% of households use at least one laptop or desktop computer — 95% of this group get an ISP at home. Separately, 68% of those who do not use a laptop or desktop computer are not online at home — accounting for 67% of all that do not have an ISP at home.

“The percentage of households getting an internet service at home is now higher than in any previous year,” Bruce Leichtman, principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said in a statement. “Broadband subscribers generally remain satisfied with their service, with 60% reporting that they are very satisfied, compared to 57% in 2016.”

U.S. Pay-TV Households Still Top 70%

Who said pay-TV is dead?

New data from Leichtman Research Group suggests 71% of domestic TV households nationwide have some form of pay-TV service. The percentage homes with either cable, satellite, telecom, or online TV is down from 82% in 2016, 87% in 2011, and 86% in 2006.

Not surprisingly, pay-TV household penetration rises with age.

About 64% of adults ages 18-44 have some form of pay-TV service, while 77% of ages 45+ have service, according to a survey of 2,000 households. By comparison, 77% of the younger demo had service in 2016, in addition to 86% of the older demo.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Other survey results include that 41% of those that moved in the past year do not currently have a pay-TV service — a higher level than in previous years. Another 35% of renters do not have a pay-TV service — compared to 25% of homeowners.

About 30% of non pay-TV subscribers last had service within the past three years; 36% had service more than three years ago, and 34% never had service.

Leichtman found that 26% of adult respondents approved using a friend’s log-in passwords to watch live TV, including 40% of among younger respondents. Another 37% of all TV sets in use have a traditional pay-TV providers’ set-top box — compared to 58% in 2016.

“The percent of U.S. TV households with a live pay-TV service [has] significantly,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “The penetration of pay-TV remains lowest among younger adults and the categories that they tend to populate, including movers and renters.”

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Comprised 78% of U.S. SVOD Households in 2020

SVOD pioneers Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu continue to resonate among U.S. households. New research from Leichtman Research found that 78% of domestic households subscribe to either Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and/or Hulu — up from 74% in 2019, and 59% in 2016.

Leichtman found in a survey of 2,000 adult respondents that among Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu subscribers, 74% have more than one SVOD service, compared with 70% in 2020, 69% in 2019, and 47% in 2016. Overall, 58% of domestic households now have more than one of these SVOD services (Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu) — compared with 55% in 2020, 51% in 2019, and 28% in 2016.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Other survey findings include that 41% of all adults stream either Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu service daily — compared with 40% in 2020, 33% in 2019, and 24% in 2016. Moviegoers aged 18-34 account for 41% of adults using SVOD daily, and the age group accounts for 67% of adults using SVOD daily.

When factoring in additional streaming video services such as Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and Discovery+, 82% of all households have at least one SVOD, and 53% have three or more services. The mean number of SVOD services among all households is 3.1 — compared with 2.9 in 2020.

“The percent of households with a top SVOD service held steady in 2021, and those using any of these services daily also leveled off after being pulled forward last year due to the coronavirus pandemic,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement.

He said 54% of adults watch video on non-TV devices (including mobile phones, home computers, tablets and e-readers) daily — compared with 55% in 2020, 51% in 2019, and 41% in 2016. Another 81% of ages 18-34 watch video on non-TV devices daily — compared with 59% of ages 35-54, and 25% of ages 55+.

“While the breadth of households with a major SVOD service is similar to last year, those with multiple top SVOD services continued to expand,” Leichtman said. “Including 11 additional streaming video services, 27% of households now report having five or more SVOD or DTC services.”

Data: Pay-TV Providers in Q2 Lost 1.2 Million Video Subs, Added 890K Broadband

As pay-TV operators continue to hemorrhage video subscribers to over-the-top video, losses are being offset by broadband service additions — a requisite for streaming video distribution.

New data from Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. — representing about 95% of the market — lost more than 1.2 million net video subs in 2Q 2021, compared with a net loss of about 1.5 million subs in the previous-year period.

Pay-TV operators added 890,000 net broadband internet subscribers in the quarter; 8 million net adds over the past two years.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The top pay-TV providers account for about 77.6 million subs — with the top seven cable companies having 42.6 million video subs, other traditional pay-TV services having about 28.2 million subs, and the top publicly reporting online TV services having about 6.8 million subs.

Leichtman found that the top cable providers had a net loss of about 590,000 video subs in 2Q 2021 — compared to a loss of about 505,000 subs in 2Q 2020. Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 700,000 subs in 2Q 2021 — compared with a loss of about 1,045,000 subs in 2Q 2020.

AT&T led all pay-TV services with 473,000 net sub loss, an improvement compared with 887,000 net losses in 2Q 2020. Online TV services, led by Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, added 55,000 subs, compared to a gain of about 45,000 subs last year.

“Pay-TV net losses were about 275,000 fewer than [last year] on a pro forma basis,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Over the past year, pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 4.52 million subs, compared to a loss of about 5.4over the prior year.”

Separately, Leichtman said the quarterly broadband additions were the most in any second quarter in the past decade, except for 2Q 2020.

“Pay-TV operators have added about 3.67 million net broadband adds over the prior year,” he said.

Report: Adults Watching Video Daily on Connected TVs Declines

As the country emerges from the pandemic, adults streaming video on a connected television is declining slightly, according to new data Leichtman Research Group.

Based on a survey of 2,000 TV households in the United States, the report found that 39% of adults watch video on a TV via a connected device daily — compared with 40% in 2020, 31% in 2019, 19% in 2016, and 3% in 2011.  Younger individuals are most likely to use connected TV devices. Of those ages 18-34, 54% watch video on a TV via a connected device daily — compared with 43% of ages 35-54 and 22% of ages 55+.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Leichtman reported that 82% of U.S. TV households have at least one Internet-connected TV device, including connected smart-TVs, standalone streaming devices (such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick or set-top box, Chromecast, or Apple TV), connected video game systems, and/or connected Blu-ray Disc players. This compares to 80% with at least one connected TV device in 2020, 74% in 2019, 65% in 2016, and 30% in 2011.

“Use of connected TV devices leveled off over the past year after being pulled forward due to the coronavirus pandemic last year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said in a statement. “Still, 60% of adults watch video on a TV via a connected device at least weekly.”

Other findings include:

  • 35% of adults with a pay-TV service watch video via a connected TV device daily — compared with 50% of pay-TV non-subscribers;
  • 60% of adults watch video via a connected TV device at least weekly — compared with 59% in 2020, 52% in 2019, 40% in 2016, and 10% in 2011;
  • 55% of TV households have at least one stand-alone streaming device — up from 49% in 2019, 33% in 2016, and 3% in 2011;
  • about 43% of all TV sets in U.S. households are connected smart-TVs — an increase from 32% in 2019, 19% in 2016, and 7% in 2014;
  • in 2021, mean reported spending on a new TV was about $530 — compared with about $795 in 2016; and
  • given a choice of screens, 78% prefer to watch video on a TV set, 11% on a computer, 8% on a smartphone and 3% on a tablet.

Report: Pay-TV Q1 Sub Losses Decline Slightly

Quarterly pay-TV subscriber losses have become a regular thing in an era of over-the-top video distribution. So there was news this week when longtime television services monitor Leichtman Research Group found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. — representing about 95% of the market — lost 60,000 fewer combined subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31) compared to the previous-year period. Operators lost 1.89 million net video subs in 1Q, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 1.95 million subs in Q1 2020.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 78.7 million subs — with the top seven cable companies having 43.1 million video subs, other traditional pay-TV services having about 28.9 million subs, and the top publicly reporting online pay-TV services having about 6.7 million subs.

“Over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 4.8 million subs, compared to a loss of about 5.1 million subs over the prior year,” analyst Bruce Leichtman said.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The report found that top cable providers had a net loss of about 775,000 video subs in 1Q 2021 — compared with a loss of about 595,000 subs in Q1 2020. Net cable losses in 1Q 2021 were more than in any previous quarter. Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 865,000 subs in Q1 2021 — compared with a loss of 1,150,000 subs in Q1 2020.

AT&T had 620,000 net losses in Q1 2021 — compared with 897,000 net losses in Q1 2020. Top publicly reporting online TV platforms had a net loss of about 255,000 subs — compared to a loss of about 210,000 subs a year ago.

Pay-TV Providers Subscribers at end of 1Q 2021 Net Adds in 1Q 2021
Cable Companies
Comcast 19.35 million (491,000)
Charter 16.06 million (138,000)
Cox 3.59 million (60,000)
Altice 2.9 million (54,400)
Mediacom 626,000 (17,000)
Atlantic Broadband 313,591 (4,796)
Cable One 252,000 (9,000)
Total Top Cable 43.1 million (774,196)
Other Traditional Services
AT&T 15.88 million (620,000)
Dish TV 8.68 million (130,000)
Verizon FiOS 3.84 million (82,000)
Frontier 453,000 (32,000)
Total Top Other Traditional 28.86 million (864,000)
Internet-Delivered Online TV
Hulu + Live TV 3.8 million (200,000)
Sling TV 2.37 million (100,000)
fuboTV 590,430 42,550

 

Total Top Online TV 6.76 million (257,450)
Total Top Providers 78.73 million (1.89 million)
Sources: The companies and Leichtman Research Group.