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US pay TV subscriber numbers decline by 125,000

Bruce Leichtman

Bruce Leichtman

The 13 largest pay TV providers in the US, that representing about 95% of the market, lost roughly 125,000 net video subscribers in 2014, according to Leichtman Research.

The new stats claim that annual net pay TV losses widened in 2014 compared to the loss of around 95,000 pay TV subscribers in 2013. However, large video subscriber losses at the top cable companies were partly offset by video customer gains among telephone providers.

The research said that the top nine cable companies lost about 1.195 million video subscribers in 2014, but the top telephone providers added 1.05 million video subscribers and the satellite TV providers added 20,000 video subscribers.

This compares to wider cable losses of 1.695 million subscribers the year before, but smaller telephone and satellite gains than in 2013. The top phone providers added 1.43 million video subscribers in 2013 and the satellite providers added 170,000.

The total subscriber numbers of the US’s top 13 largest pay TV providers stood at 95.2 million at the end of 2014 with cable accounting for 49.28 million, satellite 34.33 million and telephone 11.59 million.

“2014 marked the second consecutive year for pay TV industry net losses, but the losses remained modest again this year,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.

“Despite a relatively saturated market, and increasing alternatives for consumers to watch video, the top pay TV providers have only lost about 0.2% of all subscribers over the past two years.”

The top nine cable TV companies covered by the research includes Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and Cablevision. The two telephone firms covered were AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS, while the satellite companies were DirecTV and DISH.