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US satellite TV operators suffer ‘biggest ever losses in Q2’

US satellite TV providers DirecTV and Dish suffered more combined subscriber losses in Q2 2017 than in any previous quarter, according to Leichtman Research Group (LRG).

The research found that the US’s main satellite TV providers lost about 435,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year – compared to a gain of some 15,000 subscribers in Q2 2016.

Despite this, the US’s major pay TV providers – representing 95% of the US pay TV market – performed slightly better overall, losing a total of 655,000 net video subscribers in the traditionally weak quarter, compared to 715,000 a year earlier.

Bruce Leichtman

Bruce Leichtman

“While satellite TV services, DirecTV and Dish, had more combined net losses in Q2 2017 than in any previous quarter, these losses were partially offset by gains from their internet-delivered flanker brands, DirecTV Now and Sling TV,” said Leichtman Research Group president and principal analyst, Bruce Leichtman.

“These internet-delivered services – along with the others that do not publicly report results – are now clearly part of providers’ segmentation strategies and consumers’ pay TV options.”

According to the research, the top six US cable companies lost about 190,000 video subscribers in Q2 2017, compared to a loss of about 225,000 subscribers in Q2 2016.

The top telephone providers were found to have lost some 270,000 video subscribers in Q2 2017, versus a loss of about 550,000 subscribers in Q2 2016.

Meanwhile, traditional pay TV services – excluding internet-delivered services – lost about 895,000 subscribers in Q2 2017, compared to 760,000 in losses a year earlier.