Huge subscriber losses in US pay TV market 

The largest US pay TV subscribers lost more than 1.9 million subscribers in the second quarter of the year. 

According to Leichtman Research Group, the top operators lost about 1,925,000 net video subscribers in Q2 2022, compared to a net loss of 1,235,000 in Q2 2021.

Cable operators suffered the biggest losses, dropping about 950,000 subscribers (compared to 590,000 in Q2 2021), while other pay TV services had a net loss of about 710,000 subs.

In total, the country’s top pay TV providers account for 72.2 million subscribers. The top seven cable companies have about 39.5 million subscribers, while other traditional pay TV services have about 25.5 million subscribers.

Comcast continues to be the country’s largest cable operator, with 17.1 million subscribers (down 520,000 in the quarter), with second placed Charter at 15.5 million (down 226,000 in Q2). There is a significant gap between the leading two and third-placed Cox (3.2 million, down 80,000) and Altice in fourth (2.6 million, down 84,500)

DirecTV leads the way in the ‘other traditional services’ category with 13.9 million subs (down 400,000), and Dish TV is second (7.8 million, down 202,000)

The vMVPD category – usually a bankable area of steady growth in the cord-cutting market – also saw losses of about 265,000 compared to a gain of 55,000 in Q2 2021. Hulu + Live TV is the biggest operator in this area with 4 million subs (down 100,000), with Sling TV at 2.2 million (down 55,000). Sports-oriented fubo TV lost 109,510 subscribers in Q1, taking its total to under 1 million.

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said: “The second quarter of 2022 marked the second consecutive quarter with over 1.9 million net pay-TV losses. Over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 5,425,000 subscribers, compared to a net loss of about 4,550,000 over the prior year.”

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