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US pay TV providers lost 405,000 video subscribers in Q3

ComcastThe largest pay TV providers in the US lost about 405,000 net video subscribers in the third quarter of 2017, compared to a loss of about 250,000 subscribers in Q3 2016.

This is according to Leichtman Research Group, which analysed stats for cable, satellite and telco operators in the US that account for 92.2 million subscribers and roughly 95% of the US pay TV market in total.

The research firm found that the top six US cable companies lost about 290,000 video subscribers in Q3 2017, compared to a loss of about 90,000 subscribers in Q3 2016.

The largest cable operator, Comcast, lost the most customers in the quarter, 126,000, taking its subscriber base to 22.39 million. Charter lost 89,000 users taking its subscriber base to 16.98 million.

US satellite TV services lost roughly 475,000 subscribers in Q3 2017, compared to a gain of about 5,000 subscribers in 3Q 2016.

The largest DTH player, DirecTV, lost some 251,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared to a gain of 323,000 in 3Q 2016, according to the report.

The top telephone providers stemmed their subscriber losses in Q3 2017, losing 180,000 video subscribers compared to a loss of about 370,000 subscribers a year earlier.

Meanwhile, internet-delivered services like Sling TV and DirecTV Now grew their share of the market, adding about 535,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared to about 200,000 net additions in Q3 2016.

“The top two internet-delivered pay TV services added over a half million subscribers in 3Q 2017, bringing their combined total to nearly 2.5 million subscribers, and further entrenching this newer form of delivery as part of today’s pay TV industry,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.

“Overall, the top pay-TV providers lost about 155,000 more subscribers in 3Q 2017 than in 3Q 2016.”

The research found that in Q3 2017 the top six cable companies had 48.1 million video subscribers, satellite TV services about 32.3 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 9.3 million subscribers, and the leading internet-delivered pay TV services about 2.5 million subscribers.