US pay TV continues to shed subscribers

America’s top pay TV providers lost 1.53 million subscribers in Q2 2019.

According to new findings from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), this loss is considerably worse to the previous Q2, where about 420,000 subscribers dropped out.

The top pay TV providers now account for roughly 86.6 million subscribers, about 93% of the market. Breaking that down further, the top seven cable companies have 46.5 million video subscribers, satellite TV services have 27.5 million subscribers, the top telephone companies have 8.8 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services 3.8 million subscribers.

Satellite TV services lost about 855,000 subscribers, compared to 480,000 in Q2 2018. 

DirecTV suffered record net losses, while DISH TV had its best quarter for customer retention since Q4 2014.

Cable net losses were more than in any quarter since Q4 2018, losing 455,000 subscribers. This is compared to a loss of 275,000 in Q2 2018.

In total, top pay TV providers had a net loss of about 5.02 million subscribers over the past year. This compares to losses of 1.1 million subscribers over the prior year. 

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group said: “The top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 1,530,000 subscribers in 2Q 2019. This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of record pay-TV industry net losses. 

“With an increased focus on acquiring and retaining profitable subscribers, DBS services accounted for more than half of the net pay-TV losses in 2Q 2019, and 63% of the losses over the past year.”

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